Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Understanding Patient Safety

Bob Wachter at the University of California, San Francisco, has done so much good for the world--for patients, their families, and his colleagues in medicine--and he recently added to the total.  He published the second edition of Understanding Patient Safety.  The first edition rapidly became the leading primer in the field when it was issued in 2008.  This update and expansion will surely take its place.

The contents are extensive and inclusive, starting with the nature and frequency of medical errors and adverse events, leading to basic principles of patient safety, and thence to issues of safety, quality, and value.  Following this introduction, we are led through the types of medical errors and solutions to them.  As one might expect from Bob, the presentation is interesting, concise, and thoughtful.  If I were a doctor or nurse--newly minted or experienced--I would want this as my key reference. While the book is not really written with the patient community as its main audience, it is readable enough to warrant broad circulation.

Lucien Leape described the book as "a true gem, destined to be a close companion for all of us who strive to make health care safe."  Lucien was absolutely on target.  This book represents the best that medicine can be.  It adds to my gratitude for knowing Bob and having the opportunity to learn from him again and again.

1 comment:

Bob Wachter said...

Thanks so much for your generous comments about the Understanding Patient Safety, Paul. I'm pleased that you liked it and am gratified by the positive reception it is receiving. And congratulations to you on your terrific book as well.

I wrote this second edition while on sabbatical last year in London – it's amazing how much better one can write and think when not dodging incoming emails!

All the best.

-- Bob