- Todos > Emergency and Essential Surgical Care > Surgical Safety
- Todos > Emergency and Essential Surgical Care > Surgical Procedures
A55/13 - Quality of Care: Patient Safety. Report by the Secretariat, World Health Assembly, 2002
(2002; 6 pages)
(2002; 6 pages)
Health care interventions are intended to benefit patients, but they can also cause harm. The complex combination of processes, technologies and human interactions that constitutes the modern health care delivery system can bring significant benefits. However, it also involves an inevitable risk of adverse events that can – and too often do – happen. The problem of adverse events in health care is not new. Studies as early as the 1950s and 1960s1 reported on adverse events, but the subject remained largely neglected. A body of evidence started to emerge in the early 1990s with the publication of the results of the Harvard Medical Practice Study in 1991. Subsequent research in Australia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America in particular, the 1999 publication To err is human: building a safer health system by the Institute of Medicine in the United States of America provided further data and brought the subject to the top of the policy agenda and the forefront of the public debate worldwide. Today more countries, including Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and other member countries of OECD are taking a serious look at the problem. New Zealand has carried out a feasibility study on research into adverse events in public hospitals.