Advancing the science of patient safety

Ann Intern Med. 2011 May 17;154(10):693-6. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-154-10-201105170-00011.


Despite a decade's worth of effort, patient safety has improved slowly, in part because of the limited evidence base for the development and widespread dissemination of successful patient safety practices. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality sponsored an international group of experts in patient safety and evaluation methods to develop criteria to improve the design, evaluation, and reporting of practice research in patient safety. This article reports the findings and recommendations of this group, which include greater use of theory and logic models, more detailed descriptions of interventions and their implementation, enhanced explanation of desired and unintended outcomes, and better description and measurement of context and of how context influences interventions. Using these criteria and measuring and reporting contexts will improve the science of patient safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care / economics
  • Patient Care / standards*
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Research Design
  • Safety Management / economics
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Safety Management / standards
  • United States
  • United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality