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Preventing Practice Errors and Improving Patient Safety: An Examination of Case Studies Reflecting Common Errors in Occupational Therapy Practice

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Like other health care professionals, occupational therapists make errors in clinical practice. Only recently have we systematically studied errors in occupational therapy practice. In this report, key findings from two grant projects in occupational therapy practice errors are further examined. Specifically, this report includes an in-depth analysis of five examples of occupational therapy practice errors in physical rehabilitation and geriatric settings. These examples from the five most commonly reported causes of errors found in a national survey study on occupational therapy errors are misjudgment, lack of preparation, lack of experience, lack of knowledge, and insufficient communication. For each of the five examples, hypothesized causes of errors and their implications for professional education training and current occupational therapy practice are explored. It is hoped that this report helps to better inform practice and educational approaches to contribute to the prevention and reduction of occupational therapy and other health care practice errors.
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Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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