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Journal Article > Study
Ginsburg LR, Chuang YT, Norton PG, et al. Health Serv Res. 2009;44:2123-2147.
Voluntary error reporting systems have many limitations, ranging from selection bias in reporting to a perception that errors may not be appropriately addressed. A 2008 survey found that only a minority of US hospitals had a structured system for following up on reported events. This mixed-methods study used a combination of surveys, focus groups, and expert panels to define measurements for how organizations respond to patient safety events. The authors defined a set of indicators that evaluate the analysis of the event and the dissemination of learnings from the event. Failure to appropriately address reported errors contributes to normalization of deviance, a "culture of low expectations" that has been implicated in high-profile errors.
Journal Article > Review
Dückers M, Faber M, Cruijsberg J, Grol R, Schoonhoven L, Wensing M. Med Care Res Rev. 2009;66(suppl 6):90S-119S.
Improving patient safety requires development of a culture of safety and transformation into a learning organization—one that has the capacity to rapidly address problems through information sharing and learning from past experience. In this systematic review, the authors characterize the published literature on organizational safety programs, and summarize published data on error detection methods (such as incident reporting systems), error analysis, and systems to mitigate and reduce specific errors (such as diagnostic errors and medication errors). The review is limited by publication bias (the preferential publication of studies with positive results) and the descriptive nature of most studies, reducing the generalizability of these studies for other organizations. An AHRQ WebM&M perspective discusses organizational approaches to safety improvement in academic and community settings.