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Patient safety as a dimension of the quality of health care: a look at the literature

The modern and competitive reality of health care delivery systems is often hampered by increasing demands and often insufficient resources. The concern about patient safety - an important dimension of healthcare quality - is nowadays an issue of growing significance among researchers around the world. Adverse events occur in any places where health care delivery services are delivered and in most situations these events are subject to preventive actions. The scope of this paper is to present, by means of a literature review, the concept of patient safety in the twenty-first century, focusing on its significance as a worldwide public health problem; to discuss the challenges related to the gaps and perspectives involving research into the issue and the way it is addressed in the Brazilian reality. It is revealed that research into patient safety still lacks the benefits of having well established approaches, and also that multiple barriers and challenges must be overcome in the concepts of study outlines and the use of research techniques.

Patient safety; Adverse events; Medical error; Quality of healthcare

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