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December 22/29, 2020

A Roadmap to Advance Patient Safety in Ambulatory Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 2Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
JAMA. 2020;324(24):2481-2482. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.18551

Advances in patient safety in the past 2 decades have focused mainly on inpatient settings, whereas outpatient settings have been relatively overlooked. However, accumulated evidence leaves little justification to continue neglecting ambulatory safety.1 A systematic review from 2015 estimated that safety incidents, such as those related to administrative and communication issues, missed or delayed diagnoses, and prescribing and medication management errors, occur in median of 2 to 3 incidents per 100 primary care visits.2 Other studies have estimated that 5% of US adult outpatients may have experienced a diagnostic error annually3 and that a projected 4.5 million ambulatory care visits annually in the US may have been related to an adverse drug event.4

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