Charles Vincent; Susan Burnett; Jane Carthey
In the last decade in the UK there has been a huge volume of data collected on medical error and harm to patients, as well as a number of tragic cases of healthcare failure and a growing volume of government reports on the need to make care safer. Despite this, we still don’t know how safe care really is. Assessing safety by what has happened in the past does not give us the whole picture nor does it tell us how safe care is now or will be in the future.
In The measurement and monitoring of safety, Charles Vincent and colleagues from Imperial College London propose a new framework to help find the elusive answer to the question – how safe is care today?
We hope this report will trigger debate and discussion that will lead to a new way of thinking about patient safety, and shape the safety improvement work of the future.
This framework highlights the following five dimensions, which the authors believe should be included in any safety and monitoring approach in order to give a comprehensive and rounded picture of an organisation’s safety:
This framework provides a starting point for discussions about what ‘safety’ means and how it can be actively managed. A diagram of the framework is available. There is also a diagram of the framework including suggestions of measures that might be used for each dimension.
Share your thoughts about the report and the framework in the comments section below.