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Perspectives on Safety > Perspective
with commentary by Rosemary Gibson, MSc, The Patient's Role in Safety, March 2007
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.
Wahlberg D, Treleven E. Wisconsin State Journal. November 3, 2006:A1.
This article reports on criminal charges brought against a nurse after she committed a medication error.
Woodall A. Oakland Tribune. September 27, 2011.
This newspaper article reports how a medical error, which occurred during a nursing strike, resulted in a patient's death.
Valencia MJ. Boston Globe. March 10, 2011.
This newspaper article reports on a fatal medication error involving an anticoagulant overdose.
Saltzman W. ABC/WPVI. February 5, 2013.
Brown T. New York Times. March 17, 2013:SR5.
Jones R. WXYZ. November 13, 2013.
This news piece reports on risks associated with medication delivery in nursing homes and reveals several incidents that resulted in significant patient harm.
Robbins A. Good Housekeeping. May 20, 2016.
Disruptive behaviors are receiving increased attention as a cultural factor that contributes to medical error. Although much of the focus has been on physicians, the presence of bullying among nurses is also a concern. This magazine article explores nurse behaviors such as withholding information, intimidation, and name calling that negatively affect patient safety and nurse retention.
Rau J. Washington Post. April 29, 2016.
Transitions in care between inpatient and outpatient settings are an increasing concern for patient safety. Reporting on a fatal medication error that was missed by a patient's pharmacist and home health nurses, this newspaper article discusses various risks associated with hospital-to-home transitions such as insufficient case management and communication.
Gordon M. Health Shots. National Public Radio. April 10, 2019.
Punitive responses to medical errors persist despite continued efforts to reduce them. This news article reports on an incident involving the mistaken use of a neuromuscular blocking agent that resulted in the death of a patient, the prosecution of the nurse who made the error, and systemic and human factors that contribute to similar events.