Medicine And Books

Review of Clinical Risk Management

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:827
  1. Jennifer Leaning, medical director
  1. Health Centers Division, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Massachusetts

    Ed Charles Vincent BMJ Publishing Group, 1995, £34.95, pp 570 ISBN 0-7279-0947-9

    This ambitious book attempts to examine the rapidly evolving field of clinical risk management from many points of view, drawing on industrial experience of accidents and crisis management, on legal, psychological, and cognitive theory, and on the body of knowledge acquired in general and hospital based practice. It focuses on developments in Britain and views clinical risk management as the effort of institutions and leaders to promote a culture of safe practice in an enterprise fraught with the potential for adverse events.

    The first section of the book, dealing with the principles of risk management, contains several excellent chapters that provide good theoretical underpinning. The chapter on human factors, by James Reason, provides a concise discussion of the difference between “active” and “latent” failures, in which people make errors in settings where organisational decisions have undermined the institutional defences of regulation, …

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