[Learning from errors: applying aviation safety concepts to medicine].

Research paper by K-J KJ Sommer

Indexed on: 15 Nov '12Published on: 15 Nov '12Published in: Der Urologe. Ausg. A


Health care safety levels range below other complex industries. Civil aviation has throughout its history developed methods and concepts that have made the airplane into one of the safest means of mass transport. Key elements are accident investigations that focus on cause instead of blame, human-centered design of machinery and processes, continuous training of all personnel and a shared safety culture. These methods and concepts can basically be applied to medicine which has successfully been achieved in certain areas, however, a comprehensive implementation remains to be completed. This applies particularly to including the topic of safety into relevant curricula. Physicians are obliged by the oath"primum nil nocere" to act, but economic as well as political pressure will eventually confine professional freedom if initiative is not taken soon.