Review Article| Volume 24, ISSUE 4, P1023-1035, December 2004

The laboratory is a key partner in assuring patient safety

      For a long time the general public has had the perception that health care in the United States is efficient, effective, of high quality, and, most importantly, safe. It has recently been publicized that, regarding patient safety, this may not always be the case. Data have been generated that confirm the already emerging perception that medical errors occur more frequently than was previously suspected. However, the actual impact of medical errors on patient morbidity and mortality surprised everyone and initiated a thorough review of the health care processes to correct this problem. Improvement of patient safety is now a priority in all areas of health care, including the clinical laboratory.
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