Patient Safety

“Patient safety is the absence of preventable harm to a patient during the process of health care and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum. An acceptable minimum refers to the collective notions of given current knowledge, resources available and the context in which care was delivered weighed against the risk of non-treatment or other treatment.”1

Selected Articles

AHRQ Identifies Top 22 Patient Safety Strategies

The Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) has identified 22 patient safety strategies that have sufficient evidence base to be recommended for widespread adoption.

The Second Victims of Adverse Events Need Help Too

When unanticipated adverse patient events occur, not only do patients and their families suffer but the healthcare providers involved in their care also become traumatized. These professionals — "the second victims" — need help too.

Checklists: Useful but Insufficient for Patient Safety

Checklists, when selected, developed and implemented properly, can save lives and money. But they are no panacea.

Ten Percent of Hospital Admissions Are Associated With an Adverse Event

Studies conducted in developed countries have shown that the percentage of adverse events occurring in hospitals is between 3 and 17%. Most medical errors are related to system problems, not individual negligence or misconduct, and are therefore preventable. Medical errors can be reduced significantly if healthcare delivery systems are improved.

Fifty Percent of Adverse Events Are Preventable

Most medical errors are related to defects in the health care delivery system, not individual negligence or misconduct, and, therefore, have the potential to be significantly reduced through system redesign or transformation.

101,000 Lives in the USA Would Be Saved Annually If the USA Improved Its Preventable Death Rate To That of the Three Top Performing Nations

France, Japan and Australia rated best and the USA worst in a study of preventable death rates in 19 leading industrialized countries.

World Health Organization. (2020, August 28) APA citation. Patient safety. World Health Organization. Retrieved from