Doctors' thinking about 'the system' as a threat to patient safety
Waring, Justin. (2007) Doctors' thinking about 'the system' as a threat to patient safety. Health: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness & Medicine, Vol.11 (No.1). pp. 29-46. ISSN 1363-4593Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459307070801
‘Systems thinking’ is an important feature of the emerging ‘patient safety’ agenda. As a key component of a ‘safety culture’, it encourages clinicians to look past individual error to recognize the latent factors that threaten safety. This article investigates whether current medical thinking is commensurate with the idea of ‘systems thinking’ together with its implications for policy. The findings are based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with specialist physicians working within one NHS District General Hospital in the English Midlands. It is shown that, rather then favouring an individualized or ‘person-centred’ perspective, doctors readily identify ‘the system’ as a threat to patient safety. This is not necessarily a reflection of the prevailing safety discourse or knowledge of policy, but reflects a tacit understanding of how services are (dis)organized. This line of thinking serves to mitigate individual wrongdoing and protect professional credibility by encouraging doctors to accept and accommodate the shortcomings of the system, rather than participate in new forms of organizational learning.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > International Centre for Governance & Public Management
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Health: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness & Medicine|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Number of Pages:||18|
|Page Range:||pp. 29-46|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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