Reducing harm to patients

March 2014

Thumbnail

Key points

  • As demonstrated by Virginia Mason in the US, and some inspiring examples in the UK, the ambition to reduce harm must be matched by the ingredients that help to deliver sustainable improvements in safety.
  • These ingredients include a stable and dedicated leadership team, an explicit and agreed vision for improvement, a systematic approach to engaging staff and developing their skills, and a commitment to the incremental improvement of quality.
  • We set out five questions that organisations should ask themselves to help make the ambition to reduce avoidable harm a reality.

This briefing follows a March 2014 speech by the Secretary of State for Health at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. In his speech, Jeremy Hunt MP set out a new ambition to reduce avoidable harm to patients in the NHS.

In recent years, Virginia Mason has had considerable success in delivering safe care and financial sustainability. This briefing outlines the factors that have contributed to their success, and how a similar approach has been used in the UK. It aims to help those working to improve patient safety in the NHS.

Further reading

Thought paper

Integrating human factors with infection prevention and control

The application of human factors principles within infection prevention and control activities – up until now a largely unexp...

Evidence scan

Levels of harm in primary care

This evidence scan collates empirical evidence about errors and patient harm in primary care

You might also like...

Research project

Nudging more cost-effective medication use across NHS organisations

Project that will use behavioural insights methods to optimise health care workers’ medication prescribing and use choices, i...

Event

International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health care

The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare is an annual gathering of health care professionals in quality im...

Press release

A deeply concerning picture of the state of screening programmes in England

The Health Foundation responds to the National Audit Office’s investigation into the management of health screening.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more