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February 28, 2017

Reducing Overuse—Is Patient Safety the Answer?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
JAMA. 2017;317(8):810-811. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0896

In this issue of JAMA, Zapata and colleagues discuss framing the provision of unnecessary medical care as a patient safety problem and managing this problem using the hospital patient safety committee.1 The case presented highlights the lack of clarity about who is accountable for addressing overuse issues. All hospitals are concerned with the safety of their patients, and the authors provide a thoughtful discussion of the merits and challenges of using patient safety infrastructure to target overuse. To retain focus on safety issues while facilitating greater attention to overuse requires defining the relationship between overuse and patient safety.