Review of methods for rapidly assessing hazards
The nature and scale of harm from health-care systems worldwide is largely uncharted. Unsafe care may have tragic consequences of patients and their families, be a source of great distress to staff and be a massive economic burden for both the health care system and the wider society. In order to address these problems, the World Health Organization organized a first meeting in December 2002 focusing on the development of rapid assessment methods to estimate patient harm. Particular attention was paid to data-poor environments and to achieving a balance between robust scientific methods and addressing urgent needs. The meeting concluded that the best way to stimulate action worldwide would be to first undertake studies in a limited number of pilot countries.