Medical error has been revealed as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Accordingly, patient safety and error reduction are the current focus of health care risk management. Prevalent cultures of blame and fear relative to error are counterproductive and professional cultures that focus on best practices and patient safety must be developed. Industries outside of health care offer valuable resources for error identification and reduction. In perinatal care, lessons from industry and business include application of human factors research, teambuilding, standardization, and use of electronic medical records.
From the Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services, Chicago, Ill.
Corresponding author: Lisa A. Miller, CNM, JD, Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services, 2014 West Cullom, Chicago, IL 60618 (e-mail: email@example.com).
Submitted for publication: November 27, 2002
Accepted for publication: January 27, 2003