Patient safety: A brief but spirited history

Robert L. Wears, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Eric Van Rite

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Communication, the vehicle for transferring evidence, creating information and developing knowledge, will be highlighted as a mechanism to enhance teamwork in a reliable, safe way. Communication is critical for individuals and particularly teams in high-risk domains, and has been suggested as the most workable concept to port from aviation to healthcare to improve safety. Individual and team sensemaking as an EI&K application may be easier to first define in an aviation context. Crew Resource Management (CRM) emphasizes using all resources, human and machine, to safely operate a flight. High Reliability Organizations (HROs) manage high-risk, high-consequence processes with low rates of failure and harm. Two important traits of HROs are resilience and sensemaking. Aviation is ahead of healthcare in determining system weaknesses, but that sector also has not advanced in the application of HRO and safety principles in terms of pilots use of information and failures that could result from incomplete or unclear information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPatient Safety
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on Evidence, Information and Knowledge Transfer
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781317083238
ISBN (Print)9781409438571
StatePublished - May 13 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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