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Paper Information

Journal:   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH POLICY AND MANAGEMENT   2018 , Volume 7 , Number 9; Page(s) 867 To 869.

Disturbing the Doxa of Patient Safety Comment on “ False Dawns and New Horizons in Patient Safety Research and Practice”

Author(s):  Travaglia Joanne*
* Centre for Health Services Management, Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, NSW, Australia
In a recent edition of this journal, Mannion and Braithwaite provide a succinct analysis of the emergence, and ultimately limited impact, of what they term the current ‘ Safety I’ movement in healthcare. They describe the arc of this field from denial, through engagement via mechanisms and approaches imported from other industries, to the current situation where, despite ‘ best efforts, ’ error rates remain stubbornly recalcitrant. In examining the failure of system-wide efforts to produce sustained reductions in errors and adverse events, that article exposes the doxa, or what Bourdieu calls ‘ the taken for granted’ which is central to this latest wave of patient safety movement. In this commentary, I would like to take focus on two key elements of Mannion and Braithwaite’ s argument: that harm is caused by misguided but otherwise well-intentioned actions and the ‘ embracing’ of patient safety. I then conclude by briefly considering the implications of these for Safety II, particularly as envisaged by the authors as an evolutionary, and therefore linear progression, from Safety I.
Keyword(s): Sociology of Safety,Sociology of Professions,Bourdieu
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