Quality & Patient Safety

The next wave of patient safety? High reliability

Patient Safety Monitor, November 1, 2016

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Healthcare experts say the industry may have squeezed all it can from technological advancements and standardization, giving way to a new patient safety movement that will shift the focus toward high reliability.

Four patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan outlined this patient safety trajectory in an article for the Harvard Business Review in August (https://hbr.org/2016/08/the-next-wave-of-hospital-innovation-to-make-patients-safer). The authors identified three distinct waves (technological advancements, standardizing procedures, high reliability organizations) of patient safety and quality improvement dating back to the 1980s and pinpointed new, emerging shifts in care practices in which hospitals will focus on ways to organize the approach to patient care to improve outcomes while making cultural changes aimed at changing clinician behavior.

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