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Accidents waiting to happen: the contribution of latent conditions to patient safety
  1. C M Lowe
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr C M Lowe
 Head of Design and Human Factors, NHS National Patient Safety Agency, 4–8 Maple Street, London W1T 5HD, UK; colum.lowe{at}


Poor design of elements in a healthcare system produce the latent conditions which result in patient safety incidents. A better understanding of these elements and specific healthcare design challenges will result in improved patient safety.

  • design
  • patient safety
  • human error

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  • Competing interests: none declared.