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WHO Editorial
  1. Guang-Zhong Yang1,
  2. Edward Kelley2,
  3. Ara Darzi1
  1. 1Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2WHO Patient Safety, (Geneva) 20, Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, SWITZERLAND
  1. Correspondence to Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Bessemer Building, Level 4, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ; g.z.yang{at}

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Technology for patient safety

Modern medicine increasingly relies on new technology, yet technology can be a double-edged sword for patient safety. How to make effective use of technology and understand its potential implication on patient safety is a common thread shared across many programme areas of WHO Patient Safety. In order to identify and clarify the role and objectives of technology in improving patient safety across the world, and establish future priorities in research, education and implementation for patient safety, four international working groups were established in 2008 by WHO Patient Safety and Imperial College London to look at the following specific topics:

  • introducing new technology safely;

  • making technology safer in healthcare;

  • information technology for patient safety;

  • training and simulation technology.

Each working group includes representatives from high-, middle- and low-income countries, drawing expertise from clinical medicine, academia, policy, healthcare management and industry. They are guided by a panel of international experts and draw on existing scientific literature, guidelines and recommended exemplars of technology for patient safety. The final outcome of these working groups resulted in four papers included in this special issue.

In the paper by Mytton et al1 on Introducing New Technology Safely, the key stages involved in the development and introduction of new technologies …

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