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Dignity Health Libraries: Patient Safety

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High Reliability Organization (HRO) Resources

Health Information Tutorials


Patient Safety Definition

Patient safety is a discipline in the health care professions that applies safety science methods toward the goal of achieving a trustworthy system of health care delivery. It defines patient safety as an attribute of health care systems that minimizes the incidence and impact of adverse events and maximizes recovery from such events.



Patient Safety Web Resources


  • Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.
  • American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM)  - ASHRM promotes effective and innovative risk management strategies and professional leadership through education, recognition, advocacy, publications, networking and interactions with leading healthcare organizations and government agencies. ASHRM initiatives focus on developing and implementing safe and effective patient care pratices, the preservation of financial resources and the maintenance of safe working environments.
  • AORN - Patient Safety Website and -- This site is part of the Associationof PeriOperative Registered Nurses' (AORN) broader patient safety initiative tarteting the needs of perioperative registered nurses. It develops new guidelines related to patient safety issues (such as medication safety and correct site surgery), and helps healthcrae professionals ensure that best practices are followed. The site hosts a near-miss reporting program and a section specifically for patients.
  • CDC Patient Safety Page - -  Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health through health promotion, preventionof disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats. - 
  • FDA - MedWatch -- The FDA Safety Information and Adverse  Event Reporting Program.
  • HealthGrades Website - 2004 Report on Patient Safety (free).
  • HCPro - With more than 20 years of experience, HCPro, Inc. (, is a leading provider of integrated information, education, training,a nd consulting products and services in the vital areas of healthcare regulaiton and compliance. the copany's mission is to meet the specialized informational, advisory, and educational needs of the healthcare industry.
  • Hospital Connect - -  Portal to the American Hospital Association web sites
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) - - The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an independent not-for-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide.
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP) - The nation’s only 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use.
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM)  - --Click on "Explore by Topics". The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide  unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. 
  • Joint Commission (JC) - An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
  • National Council on Patient Information & Safety - -- One of the orignial patient safety coalitins, NCPIE has been working to advance the safe, appropriate use of medicines through enhanced communication since 1982.
  • National Patient Safety Foundation - The National Patient Safety Foundation has been pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997 -- to improve he safety of care provided to patients. As a central voice for patient safety, 
  • Kaiser Family Foundation - State Health Facts -- A good source for U.S. health data.
  • US Food & Drug Administration - Medical product safety information, adverse event/problem reporting and more.
  • VA National  Center for Patient Safety - - The primary intended audience for our public Web site is health care professionals and health care administrators. We encourage veterans and the general public to explore our site, especially the Patient Safety for Patients section, and familiarize themselves with patient safety issues and the wide range of actions VA has taken to improve patient safety.


Health Information Literacy

Patient Safety Toolkit Adverse Events

Developed by Billie White, MLS, Clinical Librarian, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ