Patient safety timeline

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Patient safety today has evolved through a combination of inspirational individuals, local initiatives, legal requirements as well as some high profile failures of care. This interactive timeline is a visual guide through some of the key patient safety events, both in the UK and internationally, over the past 150 years.

As the timeline shows, a huge amount of progress has been made in so many areas of patient safety. However history is marked by sobering reminders of the impact on people’s lives when serious failures of care take place.

What are your thoughts?

The timeline illustrates some of the key events over time, but it could never claim to be comprehensive. In your view, have we missed any key events or milestones? What do you think the main message is – how far we have come or how far do we still have to go? Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions and reflections in the comments box below.

Instructions for using the Prezi

  • Click on the 'Start Prezi' button
  • Use the right and left hand arrows in the black bar above to move along the slides
  • To zoom in, out, or to return to the starting screen, hover your mouse over the right hand side of the Prezi window and use the icons that appear there
  • To view the Prezi at full screen, click the icon in the bottom right corner of the Prezi window

Viewing on tablet or mobile phone?

If you want to view this Prezi on a tablet or a mobile phone, you might need to download the Prezi app from the relevant app store.

Share this Prezi

If you've enjoyed this timeline and would like to share it, hover your mouse over the right hand side of the Prezi window and click the icon that appears in the top right corner.

You can use this to share through social media channels, by email, or embed it on your own website.

Read more on Safety management


Great tool, I really enjoyed it. It may also be interesting to add a slide on key milestones with regard to the aftermath of medical harm (e.g. NPSA Being open guidance on the importance of being open with patients/families and supporting all those affected by patient safety incidents)
by Anna
Great presentation. Given the mention of hand hygiene and the work of Semmelweis & Wendell-Holmes as the first milestone highlighted, I was surprised not to see the NPSA cleanyourhands campaign mentioned? From a global perspective this was the first national multifaceted behaviour change campaign, uptake across NHS organisations in England and Wales was 100%, 4 year evaluation of impact undertaken (which demonstrated impact), the model was replicated in many countries and spotlighted in WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene as an exemplar approach It undoubtedly contributed to saving many lives.
by Jules Storr
Dear Anna and Jules, Thank you for your suggestions, both of which could easily have been included. We had to edit our original list down to a manageable number, which explains why the timeline isn't exhaustive. But we appreciate your thoughts and we hope the timeline continues to generate debate and reflection. John Ilingworth, Policy Manager
by John Illingworth
Excellent timeline on patient safety.Though we are still on the journey to a safer healthcare the use of Prezi makes it more interactive and shows how far we have travelled and evolved.
by Charles Kpodo
Excellant resource a map of spread of imporvments might be a useful resource highlighting exemplars for particular areas of patient safety improvment is there the option of downloading a copy of the slides to print out and or obtaining a poster of the map
by Jane
What an excellent interactive resource. This tools should be included as a learning tool for student nurses to fully understand the area of patient safety and continuing development.
by Clare
What important information and knowledge on healthcare safety for patients and how some people in the world assist in making and preparing safety tools and skills for the healthcare field and the healthcare team. A wonderful and successful tool to educate and train student's in the healthcare field on patient safety.
by Mrsbren

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