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Patient Safety: Let's Measure What MattersPatient Safety: Let's Measure What Matters

Eric J. Thomas, MD, MPH; and David C. Classen, MD, MS
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From University of Texas at Houston–Memorial Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, Houston, Texas, and University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Disclosures: Dr. Thomas helped to develop a commonly used safety culture survey and conducts research on safety culture. Dr. Classen is employed by a federally certified patient safety organization, which advises health care organizations about measuring and improving patient safety. Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M13-2528.

Requests for Single Reprints: Eric J. Thomas, MD, MPH, University of Texas at Houston–Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, 6410 Fannin Street, UTPB 1100, Houston, TX 77030; e-mail, eric.thomas@uth.tmc.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Thomas: University of Texas at Houston–Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, 6410 Fannin Street, UTPB 1100, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. Classen: University of Utah School of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, 500 South Foothill Boulevard, Salt Lake City, UT 84149.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: E.J. Thomas, D.C. Classen.

Drafting of the article: E.J. Thomas, D.C. Classen.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: E.J. Thomas, D.C. Classen.

Final approval of the article: E.J. Thomas, D.C. Classen.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: E.J. Thomas.

Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(9):642-643. doi:10.7326/M13-2528
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Recent studies suggest that patient safety is not improving. The authors of this commentary believe that external top-down efforts to measure safety contribute to this lack of improvement. They call for efforts to redirect attention to developing tools to detect local safety problems and training frontline caregivers to improve patient safety.

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