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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 29, 2006

Clinical Governance: from clinical risk management to continuous quality improvement

  • Maria Laura Chiozza and Mario Plebani


Reducing medical errors has become an international concern. Population-based studies from a number of nations around the world have consistently demonstrated unacceptably high rates of medical injury and preventable deaths. The introduction of effective reporting systems is a cornerstone of safe practice within hospitals and other healthcare organisations. Reporting can help to identify hazards and risks. However, reporting in itself does not improve safety. It is the response to reports that leads to change. Clinical teams must feel empowered to change the way in which they deliver their services, promoting effective clinical risk management. Process analysis, implementation of evidence-based practices, and a clear accountability system are effective tools not only for decreasing error rates, but also for improving effectiveness. Clinical Governance represents the context in which effective clinical risk management should be promoted and continuously improved. It should not be regarded as a separate activity, but should form part of the everyday practice of all healthcare professionals. It requires good multidisciplinary working and a willingness to reflect on and learn from errors to achieve a patient-centred and safer system.

Corresponding author: Maria Laura Chiozza, MD, Servizio Qualità, Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy Phone: +39-049-8218338,


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Published Online: 2006-5-29
Published in Print: 2006-6-1

©2006 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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