Valentin A.; Curr Opin Crit Care. 2013 Oct;19(5):474-9.

Purpose of review: The very complex process of intensive care is accompanied by a not unexpected accumulation of risk for error and adverse events. The present review addresses strategies to decrease care errors in several domains of daily intensive care practice.

Recent findings: Strategies to decrease care errors now focus on a systematic approach by identifying latent system failures and change the design of the care process in such a way that inevitable human errors are prevented or their consequences are mitigated. Recent examples refer to the standardization of processes, adaptation to cognitive limitations of human beings, optimization of working conditions, and the increasing use of supporting information technologies. The development of a safety climate constitutes a key element and apparently contributes to reduction of medical errors in ICUs.

Summary: The present review discusses recent approaches aimed to decrease care errors in ICUs. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that a system based approach with the change of process characteristics and the development of a safety climate is most essential in the effort to increase patient safety.

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