Patient safety and quality of care in developing countries in Southeast Asia

a systematic literature review

Reema Harrison, Adrienne Wai Seung Cohen, Merrilyn Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To establish current knowledge of patient safety and quality of care in developing countries in Southeast Asia, current interventions and the knowledge gaps. Study design: Systematic review and narrative synthesis. Data sources: Key words, synonyms and subject headings were used to search seven electronic databases in addition to manual searching of relevant journals. Data synthesis: Titles and abstracts of publications between 1990 and 2014 were screened by two reviewers and checked by a third. Full text articles were screened against the eligibility criteria. Data on design, methods and key findings were extracted and synthesized. Results: Four inter-related safety and quality concerns were evident from 33 publications: (i) the risk of patient infection in healthcare delivery, (ii) medications errors/use, (iii) the quality and provision of maternal and perinatal care and (iv) the quality of healthcare provision overall. Conclusions: Large-scale prevalence studies are needed to identify the full range of safety and quality problems in developing countries in Southeast Asia. Sharing lessons learnt from extensive quality and safety work conducted in industrialized nations may contribute to significant improvements. Yet the applicability of interventions utilized in developed countries to the political and social context in this region must be considered. Strategies to facilitate the collection of robust safety and quality data in the context of limited resources and the local context in each country are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-254
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse events
  • Developing countries
  • Incident reporting and analysis
  • Medical errors
  • Patient safety
  • Quality culture
  • Quality management
  • Specific populations

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