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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

Georgia Galanou Luchen, Pharm. D., is the Director of Member Relations at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). In this role, she leads initiatives related to community pharmacy practitioners and their impact throughout the care... Read More

This piece discusses an expanded view of maternal and infant safety that includes the concept of whole-person care, which addresses the structural and social determinants of maternal health. Read More

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Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, is Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care. A practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, he has appointments in both The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Pronovost's research, which has focused on how to improve patient safety and quality in the ICU setting, has been characterized by a blend of methodologic sophistication and practical attention to the details of making change happen and making it stick. His many contributions include studies of the value of intensivists, of the use of daily goal cards on safety and communication, of an executive adopt-a-unit strategy, and of a comprehensive unit-based safety program. For this work, much of which has been supported by AHRQ, he was awarded the John M. Eisenberg Award in Research Achievement in 2004.
Five years ago, a widely publicized randomized trial reported a 90% reduction in the incidence of contrast dye-induced renal failure when patients were pretreated with acetylcysteine, an agent previously used to treat acetaminophen overdoses and bronchitis...
In October 2004, in what immediately became a landmark paper in patient safety, Dr. Landrigan and his colleagues reported the results of their study on sleep deprivation and medical errors among interns. The AHRQ-funded study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed 36% more serious errors and 5.6 times more serious diagnostic errors among interns working a traditional schedule of more than 24 hours in a row than among interns working shorter shifts (1). We spoke with Dr. Landrigan, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, about his research and his thoughts on how the study findings might affect residency training in the future.