Errors in medicine are now of great interest to many parties they attract the focus of lawyers, insurers and policy analysts, as well as the attention of medical educators, researchers, psychologists, professional, regulatory and defence bodies, patients and politicians. Each constituency brings different viewpoints to the issues raised by medical error, such as: error definition and reporting, error interpretation, how to identify the causes of medical error and maximise prevention, and how to reduce error associated health care harms.
Over the coming decade, the detection, reporting, measurement and minimisation of medical errors and the harms which flow from these will become part and parcel of every clinical organisation in developed societies.
Aim of this book
This volume will bring together a series of contributions by internationally recognised researchers, scientists and critical thinkers on medical errors, in order to chart the growing public and policy interest in medical fallibility and patient safety. It will be directed to a broad audience of practitioners, policy makers and researchers, and will encompass
- the nature of medical fallibility and different approaches to defining error
- relations between error and harm
- what is known about the incidence and epidemiology of errors and harms in different health settings and
- strategies to minimise the occurrence of errors and their harmful consequences
- interaction with the law: culpability for error, harm and bad luck
- relevance to clinical appraisal and re–accreditation
- the culture and ethos of clinical practices
- medical education and research.
With an international authorship, this volume will be of interest to both domestic and international clinical, health policy, medical R+D and health education readerships. Comparable collections contain material published some time ago now and do not offer the breadth of focus on error and patient safety that we propose here.
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
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.