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Synopsis

This edited volume of original chapters brings together researchers from around the world who are exploring the facets of health care organization and delivery that are sometimes marginal to mainstream patient safety theories and methodologies but offer important insights into the socio-cultural and organizational context of patient safety. By examining these critical insights or perspectives and drawing upon theories and methodologies often neglected by mainstream safety researchers, this collection shows we can learn more about not only the barriers and drivers to implementing patient safety programmes, but also about the more fundamental issues that shape notions of safety, alternate strategies for enhancing safety, and the wider implications of the safety agenda on the future of health care delivery. In so doing, A Socio-cultural Perspective on Patient Safety challenges the taken-for-granted assumptions around fundamental philosophical and political issues upon which mainstream orthodoxy relies. The book draws upon a range of theoretical and empirical approaches from across the social sciences to investigate and question the patient safety movement. Each chapter takes as its focus and question a particular aspect of the patient safety reforms, from its policy context and theoretical foundations to its practical application and manifestation in clinical practice, whilst also considering the wider implications for the organization and delivery of health care services. Accordingly, the chapters each draw upon a distinct theoretical or methodological approach to critically explore specific dimensions of the patient safety agenda. Taken as a whole, the collection advances a strong, coherent argument that is much needed to counter some of the uncritical assumptions that need to be described and analyzed if patient safety is indeed to be achieved.

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