Theoretical Approaches for Investigating Patient SafetyTHOMAS, MARY BETH MSN, RN; HOUSTON, SUSAN PhD, RN, CNAA, FAANClinical Nurse Specialist: May/June 2005 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 129–134 CONTINUING EDUCATION: CE feature article Abstract Author Information Patient safety and freedom from accidental injury is an issue that is promoting the search for excellence among healthcare providers, payers, and consumers. The issue is complex and multifaceted, providing many avenues for analysis, quality enhancement, and research. Several models exist that may assist in exploring patient safety issues and the relationships between error and safety. Three models are discussed and research questions are generated that with further investigation will help us to understand the complexity of error management and the promotion of patient safety. Because of their leadership role and guardianship in managing patient care, clinical nurse specialists understand and promote models that improve safety for their patients. Board of Nurse Examiners – State of Texas, Austin (Ms Thomas); the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing (Ms Thomas and Dr Houston); and the Seton Health Care System, Austin, Tex (Dr Houston). Corresponding author: Mary Beth Thomas, MSN, RN, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, 2404 Elmglen, Austin, TX 78704 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Editor's Note: In 2005, we will publish 6 articles for which 1 to 3 credit hours may be earned as part of a CNS's learning activities. Examination questions are provided at the end of this article for your consideration. See the answer/enrollment form after the article for additional information regarding the program. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.