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Patient Safety



Safe patient care is the foremost priority of UCLA Health Care System, and the goal of our patient safety effort is to eliminate preventable patient harm that might inadvertently result from care. We accomplish this by:

  1. Reporting, analyzing, and preventing events that could lead to adverse outcomes – all health system employees can report high risk events and “near misses” through a computerized Event Reporting system. Automated clinical “triggers” are also established to help pinpoint potential opportunity areas. These reports are reviewed and analyzed by patient safety specialists who facilitate causal analyses, tracking, and event trending in order to identify improvement priorities and opportunities for patient risk reduction.
  2. Continuously improving care delivery processes to reduce and prevent system failures – using a host of improvement methods and tools, such as Six Sigma, Lean, Human Factors Analysis, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), the Health System continuously designs and re-designs care processes to reduce or prevent patient risk as a result of key system failure factors; human error, miscommunication, technology, equipment and environmental hazards.

We also believe that fostering an organizational “Just Culture”, which recognizes human fallibility and system contributions to error, creates a sense of responsibility in staff for improving workplace systems and healthcare delivery to patients, and encourages quality and safety. We ask patients and families to be part of our patient safety team – their partnering, through sharing pertinent information and actively questioning in order to understand treatment and expectations of care, is another essential element in ensuring the best and safest care. At UCLA Health Care System safety is our commitment to every patient.


Patient Safety and “Just Culture”
National Quality Forum (NQF) Safe Practices for Better Healthcare
20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors (AHRQ)
When Planning for Surgery (ARHQ)
Infection Control – Joint Commission
Help Avoid Mistakes with your Medicines – Joint Commission

Helpful Links:

National Patient Safety Foundation
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Questions are the Answer
Centers for Disease Control – Patient Safety: Ten Things You Can Do to Be a Safe Patient
CDC – Patient FAQs – Injection Safety
CDC – Healthcare Associated Infections