An important goal of error analysis is to create processes aimed at reducing or preventing the occurrence of errors and minimizing the degree of harm. The discovery of any errors presents an opportunity to study the types that occur and to examine their sources and develop measures to prevent them from recurring. The development of an effective system for detecting and appropriately managing errors is essential to substantially attenuate their consequences. At this stage, the error analysis process identifies contributing factors to enable the implementation of concrete steps to prevent such errors from occurring in the future. Active and comprehensive management of errors and adverse events requires ongoing surveillance processes. Educational programs, morbidity and mortality meetings, and a comprehensive and respected root cause analysis process are also essential components of this comprehensive approach. To reduce the incidence of errors, health care providers must identify their causes, devise solutions, and measure the success of improvement efforts. Moreover, accurate measurements of the incidence of error, based on clear and consistent definitions, are essential prerequisites for effective action.
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