Hadiza Bawa-Garba has become the latest public face in a long-standing battle between two views of medical error. One sees errors as criminal and punishable acts, and censures individuals who make mistakes. The other views clinical mistakes as inevitable consequences of working in complex systems, and uses errors to ferret out systemic failings.
Are medical omissions and oversights symbols of shame, or are such lapses invaluable learning points? Should mistakes and errors be judged by their outcomes, and should the harshness of punishments be guided by public concerns? And what is the place of the victims of medical error? How should they be treated by the doctor, the hospital, and society? And could patients and their families play a role in preventing errors?
The Doctors Bookshelf has reviewed many important books on patient safety and human factors. These books shine a light on the causes and implications of clinical error, and guide us on how best to deal with the two victims – patient and doctor. This is a crucial time to revisit these books. Here then are our 12 best patient safety and human factors books.
Institute of Medicine
Marilyn Sue Bognor (ed)
Rhona Flin, et al
Suzanne Gordon, et al
Robert Troug, et al