Safety and risk management in hospitals

December 2009

Michel Dückers
Marjan Faber
Juliëtte Cruijsberg
Richard Grol
Lisette Schoonhoven
Michel Wensing
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Key points

  • Research evidence for safety interventions in hospitals is limited.
  • Published studies predominantly report on positive effects; however, the methodological quality of the studies is generally weak.
  • The diversity of the collected material made it problematic to combine studies quantitatively. Safety and risk-management interventions applied in a hospital setting are multifaceted and therefore it was difficult to disentangle the effects from the context in which they were implemented. This makes it challenging to formulate recommendations for future implementation to professionals and policy-makers.
  • There is therefore a pressing need for high-quality evaluations of the effectiveness – and cost-effectiveness – of such interventions.

This systematic review synthesises the evidence on the effectiveness of safety and risk management programmes in hospitals and identifies and describes components of interventions responsible for effectiveness. 

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