System negligence is at the root of medical error

John Øvretveit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article compares the ways in which we think about errors and poor qualityin health care to the approach taken byother industries. It proposes a more scientific studyof accidents and "near misses" in health care and a systems perspective to understand errors as the logical outcome of a chain of events. The present focus on individuals as the source of qualityneeds to be balanced with an understanding of the role of systems in preventing error and ensuring high quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-105
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical professions
  • Quality systems


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