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Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, & Complex Systems

Provides resources for students, clinicians, researchers, & administrators on patient safety, quality improvement, & complex healthcare systems.


Patient Safety Search Terms

Search terms will vary, depending on the database you are using.  Below is a list of useful terms, with PubMed's MeSH terms noted.  Use synonyms in your searches, as patient safety as a concept is relatively new to the literature.

  • Accident Prevention [MeSH]
  • Checklist [MeSH, added 2010; for searching prior to 2010, use as keyword only]
  • Iatrogenic Disease [MeSH]
  • Medical Errors [MeSH]
  • "patient safety"
  • Patient Safety [MeSH, added 2012; for research prior to 2012, search as "patient safety" & consider using Safety as a MeSH term]
  • surgical procedure (or other types of procedures)
  • surgical safety checklist
  • Disclosure [MeSH]
  • Truth Disclosure [MeSH]
  • Liablity [MeSH]
  • Malpractice [MeSH]
  • Safety Management [MeSH]
  • Risk Management [MeSH]

Complex Systems Search Terms

Below are some synonyms (lowercase) & MeSH terms (capitalized) that can be used in PubMed & adapted for use in other databases.  The subheading: /organization & administration, combined with a particular type of practice or organization, can be very useful in searches.

  • "complex care"
  • "complex systems"
  • "complexity thinking"
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Decision Making
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Services Research
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Analysis
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Uncertainty
  • Leadership
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Professional Autonomy

E-book Collections

PubMed Instant Search: Patient Safety

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Quality Improvement Search Terms

  • Below are useful MeSH terms that can be used in PubMed & adapted for use in other databases.
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Quality Control
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Total Quality Management
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Professional Competence
  • Social Responsibility
  • Health Policy
  • Policy Making
  • Leadership
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Patient Care Team
  • Health Services (includes Emergency Medical Services, Pharmaceutical Services, different types of patient care, Medical Errors, & much more)