A large body of literature devoted to "patient safety" and error prevention exists and utilizes a nomenclature that can be applied specifically to the field of congenital cardiac disease and aid in the goals of increasing the safety of patients, decreasing medical error, minimizing mortality and morbidity, and evaluating quality of care. The purpose of this manuscript is to suggest and document a quality of health care taxonomy and the appropriate application of this nomenclature of "patient safety" to the specialty of congenital cardiac disease, with special emphasis on the following ten terms: morbidity, complication, medical error, adverse event, harm, near miss, iatrogenesis, iatrogenic complication, medical injury, and sentinel event. Each of these terms is commonly utilized in the medical literature without universal agreement on their meaning and relationship. It is our hope that the standardization of the definitions of these terms, as they are applied to the analysis of outcomes of the treatments applied to patients with congenital and paediatric cardiac disease, will facilitate improved methodologies to assess and improve quality of care in our profession.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine