Reducing the risk of patient harm during the process of healthcare delivery is at the forefront of policy and practice. A considerable number of empirical studies and systematic reviews have examined the prevalence, causes and consequences of patient safety incidents and harms. However, a key limitation in the current patient safety literature is that existing reviews examine patient harm in general but there is less emphasis on understanding the burden of preventable patient harm, which in the interest of improvement is of particular importance.
The primary aim of this study from Panagioti et al. was to identify the most common types of preventable patient harm and to examine the prevalence and severity of the identified harm. The authors also aimed to examine differences in the prevalence, types and severity of preventable harm across different healthcare settings and across studies published more recently, using more robust research designs and based in the UK.