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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 - 18 of 18 Results

This piece discusses Just Culture in EMS, where variation exists across systems, and challenges and opportunities to enhancing safety event reporting. 

Chris Cebollero, BS, CCEMT-P, is the President and CEO of Cebollero & Associates Consulting Group. He has served as a paramedic for over 20 years, and in his last operational role he was the Chief of EMS at Christian Hospital in North St. Louis. We spoke with him about the status of safety culture in EMS and challenge associated with safety event reporting.

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?
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.
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.
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.
J. Bryan Sexton, PhD, MA, is Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Trained as a social psychologist, he has become one of the world's foremost authorities on the role of culture in patient safety. He developed the widely used Safety Attitudes Questionnaire and is one of the lead investigators of the Michigan Keystone ICU project, which aims to change practice and culture in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout the state. His research examines the connections between attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes in high-risk team environments, particularly aviation and medicine. We asked him to speak with us about safety climate surveys and efforts to change safety culture.
David M. Gaba, MD |
Let’s take as a given that improving the ability of individuals and teams to function “as a team” is important in health care, especially in highly dynamic clinical environments.(1) How can this best be accomplished? In a comprehensive approach to teamwork...
Stephen D. Pratt, MD and Benjamin P. Sachs, MB |
In recent years, the medical community has reached a near-consensus that team training and Crew Resource Management (CRM) techniques can improve patient safety. However, the most effective way to teach and implement these concepts is much less clear...
Eric J. Thomas, MD, MPH |
On August 2, 2005, Air France flight 358 crashed while landing in Toronto. In less than 2 minutes, the crew evacuated 309 passengers. Several minutes later, the plane burst into flames.(1) Crashes like this are remarkably rare, yet the crew was prepared to...