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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Patient Safety

Resources and information for clinicians on the topic of patient safety

Facts About Patient Safety

Pro-Thomsonian cartoon on bloodletting showing a patient and a farm boy's pig being bled with poem below

Medical errors are a common cause of patient harm in health care settings and patient safety has been recognized as a national concern by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Medical errors can happen at any time throughout a patient's treatment cycle from initial diagnosis to post-discharge. This is why it is important for health care professionals across all disciplines to work together to ensure patient safety.

In this guide you will find a number of resources that highlight best practices for reducing adverse medical events in health care settings:

*Image published in 1834, provided courtesy of The National Library of Medicine Digital Collections. 

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