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Patient safety for clinical practice
  1. Persijn J Honkoop
  1. South Link Health, Dundedin, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Persijn J Honkoop, South Link Health, Dundedin, New Zealand; persijnhonkoop{at}

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Recent studies still show high numbers of patient harm in healthcare, with 1 in 10 being harmed and around 3 million deaths annually due to unsafe care. Numbers such as these stress the importance of the concept of patient safety, defined by the WHO as ‘the absence of preventable harm to a patient and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with healthcare to an acceptable minimum’. Most readers of BMJ Quality & Safety will agree that patients should not be harmed while receiving care and patient safety practices should be implemented more broadly. However, clinical practice is busier than ever and many healthcare staff struggle to get their job done, let alone also implement a relatively new discipline such as patient safety. Implementation is further complicated by the fact that patient safety practices are often perceived as complex. Therefore, Peter Lachman and colleagues have written a book on patient safety for busy practising clinicians, within the ‘Oxford Professional Practice’ series, called the Handbook of Patient Safety. To use the authors’ words, they ‘aim to provide frontline clinicians with an easy-to-read reference work, and offer …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.