Patient safety is defined as the “absence of adverse events” and often extended to include the activities involved in preventing adverse events, including adherence to quality standards and access to healthcare services
- Adverse event (AE) — A harmful event that is due to the treatment rather than the disease; it may be preventable or non-preventable
- Preventable adverse event (PAE)— An adverse event that is preventable (i.e. caused by an error or a mistake)
- Critical incident — An event that might result in an adverse event or clearly increases the probability of an adverse event
- Error — An action or omission that entails deviating from the plan, following a wrong plan, or no plan. Whether harm arises from this is irrelevant for the definition of an error. Note that Reason’s definitions state that error is involves failures of execution of a plan, whereas mistakes refer to errors of planning.
- Near miss — An error without harm that could have resulted in harm
References and Links
- Brindley PG. Patient safety and acute care medicine: lessons for the future, insights from the past. Crit Care. 2010;14(2):217. PMC2887110.
- Hoffmann B, Rohe J. Patient safety and error management: what causes adverse events and how can they be prevented? Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010 Feb;107(6):92-9.PMC2832110.
Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.
On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.
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