Patient safety initiatives in the ambulatory setting should be a focus

Research and initiatives to improve patient safety in ambulatory settings have been limited over the past decade, and this area deserves more focus and resources, according to a report by the American Medical Association. 

Key findings from the report, which examined ten years of research data in patient safety in ambulatory settings include:

  • While there are some studies about medical errors in ambulatory settings, very few of these studies examine how the errors could have been prevented.
  • Most of the research has been done in the primary care setting, while very few have examined other types of outpatient practices.
  • There is little research on the safety of ambulatory surgery compared to surgery in a hospital setting.

The report concludes that more research is needed to assess and improve patient safety in the ambulatory care setting.

(Sources: American Medical Association, http://www.ama-assn.org, December 2011; Kaiser Daily Health Policy Project, http://kaiserhealthnews.org, January 12, 2012)