Studies in the US suggest that about 4% of hospital patients are unintentionally harmed by treatment. These many thousands of "accidents" have received little research attention.
This book assumes that medicine may benefit and learn from approaches to safety in other areas and will be a core resource for this topic. The role of new technologies, both as hazards and in improving safety, is an essential new challenge which the book addresses.
The chapters are ordered to accord with their principal emphasis, beginning with conceptual foundations and moving towards safety management.
The first chapter gives an overview of approaches to safety in the psychological and organisational literature and provides essential background information for readers who may not be familiar with the safety literature. The next chapters demonstrate the need to take a long, temporal perspective. Finally, two chapters reflect on the nature of safety management and its particular application in healthcare.