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Patient Safety Principles

Systems design

Patient safety starts with system design. The safe system consists of procedures, the environment, the design of the material used, the training that has been done, and the culture of the team caring for the patient.

The more complex the system, the more chance for errors to happen. The best-designed systems are the systems that reduceĀ errors and make risky interventions reliable.

Consider the nature of the illness

The use of standardized protocols and/or guidelines helps minimize errors. The standardization reduces variations and decreases the opportunities for errors.

When a patient comes to a healthcare setting and is already ill, then something in their body has already gone wrong, so failure to provide the correct care causes further harm to the patient. This can happen with an inaccurate diagnosis, or with underuse or inappropriate use of tests and or treatments.

Open learning

Learn from errors by creating a culture of openness among all team members, so when errors occur, the team should learn from those errors. Patient safety depends on organizational and personal accountability, and it also recognizes that most errors are caused by flaws in the process rather than the person.

Trust

Trust is essential for patient safety. The members of the healthcare team must trust each other to speak up when an error or a potential error is identified.

Source:

What Exactly Is Patient Safety?, Emanuel, L., Berwick, D., Conway, J., Combs, J., Hatlie, M., Leape, L.,…Walton, M … (2009).