Patient Safety

BasicsSafety & Privacy LegislationResearchOrganizations & ResourcesMedication Safety


PSNet LogoFrom the National Patient Safety Foundation:

Patient safety is the prevention of healthcare errors, and the elimination or mitigation of patient injury caused by healthcare errors.

A healthcare error is an “unintended healthcare outcome caused by a defect in the delivery of care to a patient. Healthcare errors may be errors of commission (doing the wrong thing), omission (not doing the right thing), or execution (doing the right thing incorrectly). Errors may be made by any member of the healthcare team in any healthcare setting.”

Patient Safety Network (PSNet)


PSNet is the main federal web-based resource featuring the latest news and essential resources on patient safety. The site offers weekly updates of patient safety literature, news, tools, and meetings.  Explore:

Perspectives on Safety – from the Patient Safety Network, features expert viewpoints on current themes in patient safety.

American Hospital Association news on Patient Safety

Safety & Privacy Legislation

Controlled Substances Act (FDA)
Federal drug policy that regulates controlled substances’ manufacture and distribution and categorizes drugs into five “schedules” based on potential for benefit or abuse and international treaty status.

HIPAA Privacy Rule Summary (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)
The HIPAA privacy rule was designed to protect patients’ private health information while still allowing necessary use of it to provide quality healthcare services.

Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970
Act that governs occupational health and safety both in the federal government and the private sector.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Health Information Privacy
Find information on The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules and The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) Patient Safety Rule.

WHO Patient Safety
The World Health Organization Patient Safety program, aims to coordinate, disseminate and accelerate improvements in patient safety worldwide.


Statistics & Data

Clinical Trials

Journal Articles

OA Logo PubMed: 29 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books.

wcc students only logo Consumer Health Database: Detailed scientific studies and popular consumer information on specific aspects of health topics such as sports injuries, women’s health, nutrition, eye care, dentistry, and more.

wcc students only logo Salem “Health”: Full Text encyclopedias: Addictions & Substance Abuse; Cancer; Complementary & Alternative Medicine; Genetics & Inherited Conditions; Infectious Diseases & Conditions; Psychology & Mental Health. Salem Press

wcc students only logo OVID Nursing: Contains full-text nursing journal titles. From Wolters Kluwer.

wcc students only logo AHFS Consumer Medication: A recognized standard for patient drug information, available in both English and Spanish. Includes more than a thousand drug information books written for consumers. Updated monthly. Published by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

wcc students only logo Health Source (Academic/Nursing): Journals focusing on medical disciplines such as nursing and allied health topics, including pediatric nursing, critical care, mental health, nursing management, medical law and more.

wcc students only logo ProQuest “Health & Medicine”: This resource covers publications on the latest medical information for researchers.

wcc students only logo CINAHL (Nursing & Allied Health Literature): Nursing and Allied Health journals. Also uses MeSH.

Medline Plus Full Text. Consumer-oriented website for health information, from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus Full Text. Consumer-oriented website for health information, from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine.

Organizations & Resources

Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care
An open (free) textbook by Glynda Rees Doyle and Jodie Anita McCutcheon, British Columbia Institute of Technology. It was “developed to ensure best practice and quality care based on the latest evidence, and to address inconsistencies in how clinical health care skills are taught and practised in the clinical setting.”


Patient Safety Systems  – 2017 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals
Information on national patient safety goals in different categories for the most recent calendar year. Topics include ambulatory health care, behavioral health care, critical access hospital, home care, hospital, laboratory services, long term care, nursing care center, and office-based surgery.


Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
“Our Society is dedicated to honoring all those who have been harmed by diagnostic error. We will all be patients some day, and we will all want the same thing: That our diagnosis is made quickly, accurately, efficiently, and safely. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine will strive to unite everyone and every organization that shares this vision so that we can focus on how to improve the diagnostic process.”

Do No Harm: Jess’ Story (Video)

Medication Safety

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Search Results for Medication Safety
Results for articles, conference info, tools, audiovisual resources, and more through the AHRQ.

Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP): Medication Safety Tools and Resources
The ISMP “offers a wide range of resources and information to help healthcare practitioners in a variety of healthcare settings prevent errors and ensure that medications are used safely. All of the ISMP tools listed below are free, downloadable, and easy to use.

MedlinePlus: Medication Errors
Information on this topic from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus site.

FDA LogoU.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Drug Safety Podcasts
These podcasts “provide emerging safety information about drugs in conjunction with the release of Public Health Advisories and other drug safety issues.”

Medication Errors
The “Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) reviews medication error reports on marketed human drugs including prescription drugs, generic drugs, and over-the-counter drugs.”