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Qual Saf Health Care 11:45-50 doi:10.1136/qhc.11.1.45
  • ORGANISATIONAL MATTER

Improving safety on the front lines: the role of clinical microsystems

  1. J J Mohr1,
  2. P B Batalden2
  1. 1Schools of Public Health and Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360, USA
  2. 2Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J J Mohr, Schools of Public Health and Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#7360 Beard Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360, USA;
 Julie_mohr{at}unc.edu
  • Accepted 7 January 2002

Abstract

The clinical microsystem puts medical error and harm reduction into the broader context of safety and quality of care by providing a framework to assess and evaluate the structure, process, and outcomes of care. Eight characteristics of clinical microsystems emerged from a qualitative analysis of interviews with representatives from 43 microsystems across North America. These characteristics were used to develop a tool for assessing the function of microsystems. Further research is needed to assess microsystem performance, outcomes, and safety, and how to replicate “best practices” in other settings.

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