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Adverse events in health care: a literature review

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brady a.-m., redmond r., curtis e., fleming s., keenan p., malone a.-m. & sheerin f.(2009) Journal of Nursing Management 17, 155–164

Adverse events in health care: a literature review Aim 

This paper aims to develop understanding of the nature, costs and strategies to reduce or prevent a range of adverse events experienced by people within the healthcare system. Background 

Care interventions are not always based on safe practice and adverse events can and do occur that cause or place at risk patients lives and well-being. The nature of adverse events is diverse and can be attributed to a multitude of individual and system contributory factors and causes. Evaluation 

A review of the literature was undertaken in 2006 and 2007 using the following databases: Pubmed, CINAHL, Biomed Ovid, Synergy and the British Nursing Index. This paper evaluates the literature that pertains to adverse events and seeks understanding of this complex issue. Key issues 

Published statistics confirm that globally, professional errors in clinical practice and care delivery occur at an unacceptably high level and result in considerable human and financial consequences. Conclusion 

Reaching understanding of the multiple factors that contribute to unsafe clinical practice situations requires a cultural shift in organizations. Implication for Nursing Management 

Reasons for adverse events are complex and require healthcare managers to evaluate the system issues which impact on the delivery and organization of care.
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Keywords: adverse events; medical error; patient safety; quality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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