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Safer healthcare depends on in-depth investigation, not quick fixes, says expert

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 28 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2685
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. 1London

Safe healthcare measures should be proactive, building on extensive investigation of the causes of high risk behaviour in medicine, rather than quick fix reactions to harmful incidents, a conference has heard.

Matthew Cooke, professor of emergency medicine at Warwick Medical School and leader of the Health Foundation’s safer clinical systems programme, warned, “We don’t treat patients before we know what’s wrong with them, and in the same way we shouldn’t assume there are transferable quick fixes for human factor issues in healthcare.” He was speaking at a seminar in London last week organised by the Clinical Human Factors Group, an increasingly influential independent coalition of healthcare professionals and managers and users of services.

Professor Cooke was explaining the need for a second, two year phase of the safer …

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