• Patient safety is essential to quality health care, to ensure patients are not harmed, but also to ensure that resources are not wasted. • More research evidence is becoming available about deficiencies in health care quality and safety. This evidence is reviewed in three consecutive articles in Läkartidningen. • Research has discovered high rates of »adverse events« in health care services. The actual rate varies depending on definition, methods of measurement, and type of service. • Rates as high as 46% of patients admitted to hospital have been reported. Sometimes high reported rates indicate that a service is serious about collecting data, rather than being an unsafe service. • Generally, half of the events can be classified as »avoidable«, and a significant proportion as »serious« causing death, disability or a longer hospital stay. • Adverse drug events account for a high proportion and are probably the most well studied of patient safety problems. • Although most of the current research has been done in the US, there is some evidence which suggests that problems within Swedish health care are of a similar magnitude and type. • This article summarises the main studies and focuses on evidence of the economic consequences of deficiencies in patient safety and quality.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jan 2005|