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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

This piece focuses on the emergence and use of digital applications (apps), app-based products and devices for healthcare, and the implications for patient safety.

Francoise A. Marvel, MD, is an assistant professor of medicine within the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, codirector of the Johns Hopkins Digital Health Innovation Lab, and the chief executive officer (CEO) and cofounder of Corrie... Read More

The focus on patient safety in the ambulatory setting was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and appropriately shifting priorities to responding to the pandemic. This piece explores some of the core themes of patient safety in the ambulatory setting,... Read More

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

All Perspectives (336)

1 - 12 of 12 Results
Deborah Woodcock, MS, MBA; Robby Bergstrom |
This piece explores the role medical scribes play in health care, how to implement and evaluate a scribe program, and recommendations to reduce variations in scribe practice.
Charles Ornstein is a senior reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization in New York. Formerly with the Los Angeles Times, he co-wrote a series of articles about medical errors at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, which closed in 2007; the series earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is also the president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. We asked him to speak with us about the role of the media in patient safety. This interview was conducted while he was still at the Times.
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.
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.
Sorrel King is the mother of Josie King, who died tragically in 2001 at age 18 months because of medical errors during a hospitalization at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has subsequently become one of the nation’s foremost patient advocates for safety, forming an influential foundation (the Josie King Foundation) and partnering with Johns Hopkins to promote the field of patient safety around the world.
John Banja, PhD, is Assistant Director for Health Sciences and Clinical Ethics and Associate Professor of Clinical Ethics at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Banja, whose doctorate is in philosophy, is currently participating in AHRQ-funded studies designed to help clinicians communicate more effectively in emotionally charged situations after errors or unforeseen outcomes. His book, Medical Errors and Medical Narcissism, covers issues around the appropriate, ethical disclosure of medical errors by health care professionals.
Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN |
The goal set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1999 to reduce medical errors by half within 5 years has not been achieved. Opinion polls of consumers and health professionals show that concerns about patient safety remain high. Yet only 16% of hospital...