As embodied by Hippocrates' primary charge to physicians, First, do no harm, patient safety is of paramount importance in the delivery of excellent health care. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine's landmark report, “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” highlighted the impact of medical mistakes on health care outcomes and prioritized patient safety on the national scale.1 Patient safety is interwoven inextricably with quality of care, a concept that has been emphasized recently by health care professionals, researchers, and payers as a means to assess health outcomes. While patient safety and delivery of quality care are critical in the practice of medicine, work efficiency also is a legitimate concern of physicians,2 especially in today's practice climate, which rewards productivity.
Lehman JS, Gibson LE. The COWABUNGA Cart: Intervention to Optimize Patient Safety, Quality of Care, and Work Efficiency in a Dermatology Hospital Practice. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(10):1308. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.10.1308