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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

Joan Stanley, PhD, NP, FAAN, FAANP; Bryan M. Gale, MA; Sarah E. Mossburg, RN, PhD |

This piece discusses how undergraduate professional nursing education integrates the topic of patient safety into classroom and clinical instruction, and how this affects patient safety as a whole.

Patricia McGaffigan, MS, RN, CPPS; Cindy Manaoat Van, MHSA, CPPS; Sarah E. Mossburg, RN, PhD |

This piece focuses on the importance of patient safety following the end of the public health emergency and how organizations can move beyond the pandemic.

All Perspectives (190)

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William S. Krimsky, MD |
Health care organizations throughout the world have identified Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) as a powerful intervention aimed at saving lives by identifying and intervening in patient care at the first sign of clinical deterioration or concern expressed by...
Dr. Berwick is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). A pediatrician and professor at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, he is generally acknowledged as one of the foremost experts and leaders in health care quality and patient safety. He has published more than 100 articles and several books, has been the recipient of several major honors and awards, and was recently named an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. In December 2004, he announced an IHI-led "Campaign to Save 100,000 Lives"—promoting the implementation of evidence-based interventions to improve patient safety and decrease mortality in six clinical areas. In less than a year, the campaign has already signed up nearly half the hospitals in the United States.
Translational research is all the rage in biomedicine. In its purest form, the concept refers to the translation of basic research discoveries into clinical applications, followed by patient-oriented studies to demonstrate benefit.(1) Increasingly, it also...
Dr. Carolyn Clancy has been the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) since 2003. Prior to becoming AHRQ Director, she led the Agency's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research. A general internist and health services researcher, she has published widely in the peer reviewed literature on a variety of topics, ranging from quality improvement to primary care. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Master of the American College of Physicians.
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...
Barbara A. Blakeney, MS, RN, is President of the 150,000-member American Nurses Association (ANA). A nurse practitioner and expert in public health practice, policy, and primary care, Ms. Blakeney is on leave from the Boston Public Health Commission, where she has been director of health care services for the homeless. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has been named to Modern Healthcare Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in health care for the past 3 years.
Kaveh G. Shojania, MD |
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...
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, the Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human, placed the issue of medical errors squarely in the public eye.(1) The report led to many calls for action, including increased reporting of medical errors and improved education for both...
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.
P. Jeffrey Brady, MD, MPH; William B. Munier, MD, MBA; Irim Azam, MPH |
This piece, written by three leaders in AHRQ's research portfolio, covers future avenues for patient safety research and reviews current AHRQ projects.