Finding the patient in patient safety

Suyin Hor, Natalya Godbold, Aileen Collier, Rick Iedema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    In the last decade, the field of patient safety has grappled with the complexity of health-care systems by attending to the activity of frontline clinicians. This article extends the field by highlighting the activity of patients and their carers in determining the safety of these systems. We draw on data from three studies exploring patients' accounts of their health-care experiences in Australia and internationally, to show how patients and carers are currently contributing to the safety of their own care. Furthermore, we emphasise the importance of patient-clinician collaboration in ensuring the success of these activities. We argue that it is no longer sufficient to discuss if patients should be involved with ensuring their own safety. Given that patients are already involved, we propose a new conceptualisation of safety and systems that acknowledges their involvement and supports patient-provider collaboration to achieve safer care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-583
    Number of pages17
    JournalHealth: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • clinician-patient communication
    • patient involvement
    • patient participation
    • patient safety


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