Beyond Traditional Patient Safety Tools and Techniques

Volume 28 Number 1


What Can Health Care Learn from Sophisticated Industries? [PDF]

The shortfalls of American health care in quality, affordability, and access cannot entirely be explained away by the complexity of health care. Other industries—those which have had relentless complication of products, services, and the organizations required to bring offerings to market—have experiences converse of health care’s.

What Can Health Care Learn from Other Industries of High Intrinsic Hazard? [PDF]

Aspects of health care safety suffer because of differences in the organizational structure versus that of “safer” industries. This means that health care has much to learn from how these other endeavors operate.

What are the Challenges for Health Care in Learning from Other Industries? [PDF]

Health care is not as advanced on the safety improvement journey as some other industries. This may be partly attributed to difficulties in successfully implementing the solutions and practices that work in other industries.

What Can Health Care Learn from the Nuclear Power Industry? [PDF]

Nuclear power plants are highly complex; their components can rapidly interact in ways that can produce unexpected and dangerous crises. Such events can bewilder the operator, who must deal with crises quickly and under conditions where model-based diagnosis is often not possible.

Are Lean and Six Sigma Good Tools for Improving Quality and Patient Safety? [PDF]

Lean and Six Sigma are a means to an end. If a health care organization has a strategic goal of improving performance and reducing variability, they may be a method to achieve these ends. The use of these tools, however, is not a panacea.

How Can Competing Patient Safety Improvement Strategies Be Harnessed? [PDF]

The community of patient safety scholars and practitioners would do well to be equally skilled in selecting the one or more approaches that address both the technical and the social dimensions of each specific challenge.

Which Tools Should Health Care Leaders Consider? [PDF]

Simulation? Six Sigma? Design thinking? Culture change?

Are Some Patient Safety Interventions
Better Than Others, or
Is It the Implementation?

Design thinking helps focus on how people interact with their environment, and can be a useful process in determining which interventions have promise, and how to modify those that appear untenable.

How Do Organizations Reach a Single, Widely-accepted “Way” to Address Patient Safety? [PDF]

There is no need to aim for a “single way” in order to remove many of the dangerous alternatives and unnecessary complexity which currently exists in medicine

Additional Reading [PDF]


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Legal considerations involved in medical malpractice claim adjudications arise in special factual contexts that require case-specific analysis, interpretations, and the application of often times unclear or changing principles. Because of variations in fact patterns and local jurisdictions, specific consultation should be obtained before formal action is taken based on any information contained in this publication. Information in this publication is not intended to be, and should not be used as a substitute for, legal advice or contextually based adjudication. For specific guidelines on any actual or potential malpractice claim, or for an opinion on a specific liability exposure, consult an attorney.