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What is patient safety?

30 September 2021


  • Patient Safety

Female doctor speaking to elderly patient

Patient safety is critically important in the healthcare world. When any care is being carried out in the NHS, the patients’ safety needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and actions.


The definition of patient safety


The NHS defines patient safety as:

“Patient safety is the avoidance of unintended or unexpected harm to people during the provision of health care. We support providers to minimise patient safety incidents and drive improvements in safety and quality. Patients should be treated in a safe environment and protected from avoidable harm.”

When providing any form of care, NHS staff must consider any safety issues or potential causes of patient harm. Everything should be logged onto a relevant system, including any risks, near misses or incidents. All those working for the NHS will be trained how to act safely because keeping their patients safe is their guiding principle.


Improving patient safety


It is becoming increasingly apparent that something isn’t working because we continue to see a year on year rise in clinical negligence claims in the NHS. Therefore, it’s important that quality of care in the NHS continuously improves in order to mitigate this rise. 

The NHS Patient Safety Strategy covers how the NHS will build foundations of a safer culture and system to drive both safety improvement and quality improvement. In this strategy, the NHS aims to increase things that go right and decrease things that go wrong. 

There are many initiatives which as part of the strategy are helping drive improved patient safety. One of these is appointing Patient Safety Specialists in the NHS. Over 700 staff at NHS trusts and CCGs have taken on the role to provide leadership and oversee activities in patient safety across their organisation. 


How technology can help


“As an organisation we recognise that the introduction of new technology presents clear opportunities to adapt and develop services within the NHS.” – NHS Resolution

Technology can play a large role in helping to improve the safety and quality of care provided to patients. Your patient safety technology partner should provide the potential for continual improvements in safety to:

  • Learn from what does and does not go well
  • Share best practice
  • Identify trends
  • Prevent Never Events
  • Reveal previously hidden insights

The right data, systems and culture can help you to benefit from many improved outcomes, not just patient safety:

Diagram showing a pyramid of how data supports improved outcomes

“Recent developments in technology, notably enhanced artificial intelligence, give exciting opportunities which we are keen to explore.” – NHS Resolution

Do you think your current technology is not fit for purpose as your patient safety isn’t improving as expected? Take a look at Radar Healthcare; our software encourages logging of all incidents, risks, audits and more so that you can drive improved cultures and outcomes in your organisation. Find out more about how we help the NHS with our innovative software, or book a demo with our expert team.


More on patient safety

Have you seen our patient safety hub? Here we cover all things patient safety including:

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