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Perspectives

Our Perspectives on Safety section features expert viewpoints on current themes in patient safety, including interviews and written essays published monthly. Annual Perspectives highlight vital and emerging patient safety topics.

Latest Perspectives

Remle Crowe, PhD, NREMT, is the Director of Clinical and Operational Research at ESO. In her professional role, she provides strategic direction for the research mission of the organization, including oversight of a warehouse research data set of de... Read More

Michael L. Millenson is the President of Health Quality Advisors LLC, author of the critically acclaimed book Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age, and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at... Read More

Errors in medication management and administration are major threats to patient safety. This piece explores issues with opioid and nursing-sensitive medication safety as well as medication safety in older adults. Future research directions in... Read More

All Perspectives (333)

1 - 19 of 19 Results
Audrey Lyndon, RN, PhD |
This perspective examines the troubling decline in maternal health outcomes in the United States and summarizes recent national initiatives to improve safety in maternity care.
A leading expert on evidence-based patient safety strategies and translating research into practice, Dr. Shojania is the Director of the University of Toronto Centre for Patient Safety and the new editor of BMJ Quality and Safety.
Alan H. Rosenstein, MD, MBA; Michelle O'Daniel, MSG, MHA |
The 1999 Institute of Medicine report highlighted the need for health care providers to address the serious concerns raised about the quality and safety of patient care being provided in our health care organizations. Organizations responded by looking at new ways to fix the system, mostly through the introduction of new technologies and system/process redesign. Advances have been made, but there are still significant opportunities for improvement. Is the barrier poor system or process design, or is it related to addressing basic human behaviors?
Gerald B. Hickson, MD, is one of the world's leading experts on physician behavior and its connection to clinical outcomes and medical malpractice. He is a Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he is also the Joseph C. Ross Chair in Medical Education and Administration, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, and Director of Clinical Risk and Loss Prevention. We asked him to speak with us about high-risk physicians and malpractice.
Alison H. Page, MS, MHA |
We've all been there...something goes wrong, a patient is harmed, and we, as medical directors, managers, and administrators, are forced to judge the behavioral choices of another human being. Most of the time, we conduct this complex leadership function guided by little more than vague policies, personal beliefs, and intuition. Frequently, we are frustrated by the fact that many other providers have made the same mistake or behavioral choice, with no adverse outcome to the patient, and the behavior was overlooked. Quite understandably, the staff is frustrated by what appears to be inconsistent, irrational decision-making by leadership. The "just culture" concept teaches us to shift our attention from retrospective judgment of others, focused on the severity of the outcome, to real-time evaluation of behavioral choices in a rational and organized manner.
An engineer and an attorney by training, David Marx, JD, is president of Outcome Engineering, a risk management firm. After a career focused on safety assessment and improvement in aviation, he has spent the last decade focusing on the interface between systems engineering, human factors, and the law. In 2001, he wrote a seminal paper describing the concept of just culture, which became a focal point for efforts to reconcile notions of "no blame" and "accountability." He has gone on to form the "Just Culture Community" to address these issues at health care institutions around the country.
Sir Liam Donaldson, MD, MSc, is England's Chief Medical Officer, a post often referred to as "the Nation's Doctor" (similar to the role of the U.S. Surgeon General). Trained as a surgeon, Sir Liam has been an inspirational leader in public health and health care quality in the United Kingdom for two decades. He has also emerged as a world leader in the patient safety field, authoring or commissioning dozens of influential reports, and serving as the founding chair of the World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety. We spoke to him about patient safety from an international perspective.
Susan Burnett and Charles Vincent, PhD |
The dangers of health care in Britain have been long understood. Systematic data collection of the hazards of health care can be traced back at least to the time of Florence Nightingale's publications in the 1860s. In this short paper, we outline the evolution of patient safety and trace its development and progress over the last 10 years in Britain, where a nationalized health service and sustained commitment from Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson and other senior figures have brought patient safety to considerable prominence.
Rosemary Gibson, MSc |
Patients have three roles in improving patient safety: helping to ensure their own safety, working with health care organizations to improve safety at the organization and unit level, and advocating as citizens for public reporting and accountability of hospital and health system performance. The following case illustrates how patients can help ensure their own safety.
Jeffrey B. Cooper, PhD |
My journey into patient safety began in 1972. It was born of serendipity enabled by the good fortune of extraordinary mentors, an environment that supported exploration and allowed for interdisciplinary teamwork, and my own intellectual curiosity. The...