Patient Safety

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“The biggest challenge to moving toward a safer health system is changing the culture from one of blaming individuals for errors to one in which errors are treated not as personal failures, but as opportunities to improve the system and prevent harm.”

- Institute of Medicine ‘99

Issues related to a lack of patient safety have been reported for decades. During the first decade of the 21st century, there has been a national focus on improving patient safety. Patient safety is a global issue, affecting countries at all levels of development and is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges. According to the Institute of Medicine (1999), they have estimated that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety. Estimates of the size of the problem on this are scarce particularly in developing countries; it is likely that millions of patients worldwide could suffer disabling injuries or death every year due to unsafe medical care.

Healthcare institutions are becoming more aware of the importance of transforming organizational culture in order to improve patient safety. Growing interest in a culture of safety has been accompanied by the need for perception of health care workers on the aspects of patient safety improvement efforts.

International accrediting bodies such as the Joint Commission International (2009) stated that almost 50 percent of their standards are directly related to safety. Beforehand, they have already established National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) in 2002 to help organizations address specific areas of concern in regards to patient safety.

In the Philippines, we have the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or better known as PhilHealth that accredits hospitals. Since the start of 2010, all institutions shall be re-accredited to determine whether they shall be awarded either as Center for Safety, Center for Quality or Center for Excellence. To aid them in this process, they have come up with the bench book for hospitals which contains seven performance areas. Among these areas is “Safe Practice and Environment” which contains many core indicators.

The National Core Competency Standards for Filipino Nurses (Board of Nursing, 2005) identified 11 key areas of responsibility, one of which is “Safe and Quality Nursing Care”. A core competency on this area focuses on the promotion safety and comfort and privacy of clients. Since nurses are known to be the front liners in any health care setting, they share several values, beliefs and experiences towards patient safety. There is a need to better understand how nurses perceive the factors affecting patient safety because such findings can be translated into practice, especially in developing and transitional countries like ours.

There is no doubt that patient safety has always and will continue to be an integral part of the delivery of quality patient care, and achieving an acceptable standard of patient safety requires that all healthcare settings develop patient safety systems including both a positive culture of safety and an organizational support for safety processes. The researcher believes that this will not be possible unless the perceptions of the front-line healthcare providers and management are positively managed and directed, this is the main reason why the researcher decided to focus on the said to topic to shed some light in the attempt to know the implications of the identified factors affecting patient safety to the delivery of quality health care.


The study sought to identify the factors affecting patient safety as perceived by staff nurses.

Specifically, the researcher attempts to answer the following questions regarding the perceived factors affecting patient safety:...
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