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Health Care Errors and Patient Safety

Brian Hurwitz (Editor), Aziz Sheikh (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-4643-2
288 pages
April 2009, BMJ Books
Health Care Errors and Patient Safety (1405146435) cover image


The detection, reporting, measurement, and minimization of medical errors and harms is now a core requirement in clinical organizations throughout developed societies. This book focuses on this major new area in health care. It explores the nature of medical error, its incidence in different health care settings, and strategies for minimizing errors and their harmful consequences to patients. Written by leading authorities, it discusses the practical issues involved in reducing errors in health care - for the clinician, the health policy adviser, and ethical and legal health professionals.
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Table of Contents

Section 1: Understanding medical errors.

1. Historical recognition and conceptual understanding of error as an inevitable component of clinical work International overview.

2. The patient safety implications of transitions in healthcare.

3. Are all errors the same?.

4. How does the law deal with medical errors?.

Section 2: Key clinical issues.

5. The epidemiology of patient safety.

6. Diagnostic errors: psychological theories and research implications.

7. The aftermath of error on patients and health care staff.

8. Medicines management to minimise errors in primary care.

9. Error and organizational change.

10. Error reporting systems.

11. Analysis of health care error reports.

Section 3: Learning from errors.

12. Errors as individual learning opportunities.

13. 'Mince or mice'? misunderstandings and patient safety in a linguistically diverse community.

14. Patient safety and patient error.

15. Significant event auditing and root cause analysis of errors.

16. Teaching students about medical errors.

17. Medical education.

18. Medical errors in narratives and case histories.

Section 4: Communicating with the public.

19. The patient's role in preventing errors and promoting safety.

20. Health care errors and the media.

21. The many advantages and some disadvantages of a no-blame culture regarding medical errors

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Author Information

Brian Hurwitz, NHS GP, Professor of Medicine and the Arts, King’s College, London.

Aziz Sheikh, NHS GP, Professor of Primary Care Research and Development, University of Edinburgh
The editors have worked together on medical error in the past and have a considerable track record of jointly undertaken research and peer review publication in primary health care related fields. They have established contacts with many of the proposed chapter authors.

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The Wiley Advantage

Up to date focus on a major issue in health care worldwide

  • Provides the latest knowledge about how errors occur and strategies to avoid them
  • Written by leading clinicians and ethicists
  • Relevant for clinical appraisal and re-accreditation
  • Important for health policy makers and legal health experts
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