Intended for healthcare professionals

CCBYNC Open access

Rapid response to:


Prevalence, severity, and nature of preventable patient harm across medical care settings: systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 17 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4185

Linked editorial

Preventable harm: getting the measure right

Rapid Response:

The Patient Safety Thing

There has been quite a bit of work on “the patient safety issue” here in Australia and is raising its ugly head at The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety ( which is currently sitting. Some years ago I recall observations that indicated that an appendectomy in a Perth Hospital had in excess of a 10% greater incidence of preventable harm than did a similar hospital in Sydney. Hope this is not the case today. The issue related to non-standard procedures.

In my own case, I have prevented drug-to-drug negative interactions in emergency twice as the junior doctor was unaware. Patients need to be much more involved in discussions and actions around safety. After all, we pay the cost, suffer the trauma and carry the pain.

Competing interests: No competing interests

24 July 2019
Michael Gill
unpaid charity worker
Dragon Claw Charity Ltd (