Improving safety on the front lines: the role of clinical microsystems
- 1Schools of Public Health and Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360, USA
- 2Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
- 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;
- Accepted 7 January 2002
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.