CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Ann Natl Acad Med Sci
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1744390
Review Article

Patient Safety, Clinical Microbiology, and Collaborative Healthcare

Tulsi Das Chugh
1   National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), Delhi, India
Ashish Kumar Duggal
2   Department of Neurology, G. B. Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Delhi, India
Shalini Dewan Duggal
3   Department of Microbiology, Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Delhi, India
› Author Affiliations


“Right to health” is a universal right inclusive of a culture of safety. This review aims to highlight how clinical microbiology laboratories can contribute to patient safety. They can bring down medical errors through clinical collaboration and quality control. Timely and accurate inputs from microbiology laboratory help in clinical correlation and aid in safe patient care. Through internet search, using keywords such as “medical errors” and “quality assurance,” global burden of medical errors has been compiled. References have been taken from guidelines and documents of standard national and international agencies, systematic reviews, observational studies, retrospective analyses, meta-analyses, health bulletins and reports, and personal views. Safety in healthcare should lay emphasis on prevention, reporting, analysis, and correction of medical errors. If not recorded, medical errors are regarded as occasional or chance events. Global data show adverse events are as high as 10% among hospitalized patients, and approximately two-thirds of these are reported from low- to middle-income countries (LMICs). This includes errors in laboratories as well. Clinical microbiology can impact patient safety when practiced properly with an aim to detect, control, and prevent infections at the earliest. It is a science that integrates a tripartite relationship between the patient, clinician, and a microbiology specialist. Through collaborative healthcare, all stakeholders benefit by understanding common errors and mitigate them through quality management. However, errors tend to happen despite standardization and streamlining all processes. The aim should be to minimize them, have fair documentation, and learn from mistakes to avoid repetition. Local targets should be set and then extended to meet national and global benchmarks.

Publication History

Article published online:
04 April 2022

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