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This Primer provides an overview of the history and current status of the patient safety field and key definitions and concepts. It links to other Patient Safety Primers that discuss the concepts in more detail.
High reliability organizations are organizations that operate in complex, high-hazard domains for extended periods without serious accidents or catastrophic failures. High reliability is an ongoing process of cultivating organizational mindfulness; standardization is necessary but not sufficient for achieving resilient and reliable health care systems.
High-reliability organizations consistently minimize adverse events despite carrying out intrinsically hazardous work. Such organizations establish a culture of safety by maintaining a commitment to safety at all levels, from frontline providers to managers and executives.