Charles Vincent and René Amalberti set out a system of safety strategies and interventions for managing patient safety on a day-to-day basis and improving safety over the long term. These strategies are applicable at all levels of the healthcare system from the frontline to the regulation and governance of the system.
There have been many advances in patient safety, but we now need a new and broader vision that encompasses care throughout the patient’s journey. The authors argue that we need to see safety through the patient’s eyes, to consider how safety is managed in different contexts and to develop a wider strategic and practical vision in which patient safety is recast as the management of risk over time. Most safety improvement strategies aim to improve reliability and move closer toward optimal care. However, healthcare will always be under pressure and we also require ways of managing safety when conditions are difficult. We need to make more use of strategies concerned with detecting, controlling, managing and responding to risk. Strategies for managing safety in highly standardised and controlled environments are necessarily different from those in which clinicians constantly have to adapt and respond to changing circumstances.