The aim of this systematic review from Lawton et al., published in BMJ Quality & Safety, was to develop a ‘contributory factors framework’ from a synthesis of empirical work which summarises factors contributing to patient safety incidents in hospital settings.
The majority of studies identified active failures (errors and violations) as factors contributing to patient safety incidents. Individual factors, communication, and equipment and supplies were the other most frequently reported factors within the existing evidence base. This review has culminated in an empirically based framework of the factors contributing to patient safety incidents. This framework has the potential to be applied across hospital settings to improve the identification and prevention of factors that cause harm to patients.