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Gianfranco Damiani, Luigi Pinnarelli, Lucia Scopelliti, Lorenzo Sommella, Walter Ricciardi
Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(7): RA157-166
Among risk management initiatives, systematic safety processes (SSPs), implemented within health care organizations, could be useful in managing patient safety. The purpose of this article is to conduct a systematic literature review assessing the impact of SSPs on different error categories. Articles that investigated the relation between SSPs, clinical and organizational outcomes were selected from scientific literature. The proportion and impact of proactive and reactive SSPs were calculated among five error categories. Proactive interventions impacted more positively than reactive ones in reducing medication errors, technical errors and errors due to personnel. PSSPs and RSSPs had similar effects in reducing errors related to a wrong procedure. A single reactive study influenced non-positively communication errors. A relevant prevalence of the impact of proactive processes on reactive ones is reported. This article can help decision makers in identifying which SSP can be the most appropriate against specific error categories.