Patient Safety in the Context of Neonatal Intensive Care: Research and Educational Opportunities

Pediatr Res. 2011 Jul;70(1):109-15. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3182182853.


Case reports and observational studies continue to report adverse events from medical errors. However, despite considerable attention to patient safety in the popular media, this topic is not a regular component of medical education, and much research needs to be carried out to understand the causes, consequences, and prevention of healthcare-related adverse events during neonatal intensive care. To address the knowledge gaps and to formulate a research and educational agenda in neonatology, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development invited a panel of experts to a workshop in August 2010. Patient safety issues discussed were the reasons for errors, including systems design, working conditions, and worker fatigue; a need to develop a "culture" of patient safety; the role of electronic medical records, information technology, and simulators in reducing errors; error disclosure practices; medicolegal concerns; and educational needs. Specific neonatology-related topics discussed were errors during resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, and performance of invasive procedures; medication errors including those associated with milk feedings; diagnostic errors; and misidentification of patients. This article provides an executive summary of the workshop.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference, NIH

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Equipment Safety
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal* / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal* / organization & administration
  • Malpractice
  • Medical Errors / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Neonatology* / education
  • Neonatology* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Neonatology* / organization & administration
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Development
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Safety Management* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Safety Management* / organization & administration
  • Truth Disclosure
  • United States