Safe Care for Pediatric Patients: A Scoping Review Across Multiple Health Care Settings

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Abstract

Children are particularly vulnerable to patient safety concerns due to pediatric-specific and general health care challenges. This scoping review identifies and describes the vulnerabilities of those aged 0 to 18 years to iatrogenic harm in various health care settings. Six databases were searched from 1991 to 2012. Primary studies were categorized using predetermined groupings. Categories were tallied and descriptive statistics were employed. A total of 388 primary studies exploring interventions that improved patient safety, deficiencies, or errors leading to safety concerns were included. The most common issues were medication (189 studies, 48.7%) and general medical (81 studies, 20.9%) errors. Sixty studies (15.5%) evaluated or described patient safety interventions, 206 studies (53.1%) addressed health care systems and technologies, 17 studies (4.4%) addressed caregiver perspectives and 20 studies (5.2%) discussed analytic models for patient safety. Further work is needed to ensure consistency of definitions in patient safety research to facilitate comparison and collation of results.

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