Preventing errors in the outpatient setting: A tale of three states

Elizabeth M. Lapetina, Elizabeth M. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Although error in medicine has received sustained policy attention recently, the problem of error in the outpatient setting has been relatively neglected. In this paper we review what is known about the incidence and nature of error-related adverse events in physicians' offices, ambulatory care facilities, and surgicenters. We then analyze policies to improve outpatient safety in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, three states that took very different paths toward this goal. Their experience suggests that accreditation, combined with particular attention to ensuring anesthesia safety, can improve quality of care for outpatients. These actions are best accomplished through proactive legislation and the development of regulations, rather than reactive responses to adverse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-39
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


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