The Scottish Patient Safety Research Network was established in 2007 to enhance capacity in patient safety research in Scotland.

The Network initially involved multidisciplinary research teams from three universities (Aberdeen, St Andrews and Dundee) studying adverse events in the Scottish healthcare system and examining both organisational and professional methods of improving safety for patients. The Scottish Funding Council awarded £1.5 million to this four year project and the three universities also contributed £1 million to the initiative. The network has recently expanded to incorporate researchers not directly funded by the original grant in order to increase the capacity for shared research and collaboration among patient safety researchers in Scotland.

The research conducted by the network is focused on three main areas: Adverse events, organizational factors and non-technical skills.

Specific aims of the network include:

  • Determining the nature and prevalence of adverse events to patients in Scotland in both primary and secondary care.
  • Examination of the human factors (organizational and individual) that impact patient safety in Scotland.
  • Investigating the organisational culture underpinning safe/unsafe health care environments, especially the role of safety climate, leadership and organizational learning.
  • Developing and evaluating innovative training for improving patient safety, eg non-technical skills taxonomies ANTS, NOTSS and SPLINTS and undergraduate education.
  • Identify targets for improving safety using electronic patient safety systems (SMART, eWALK).



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