Six Principles of Mistake Proofing Care


This module discusses process improvements and refinements which reduce the likelihood of error. These are then developed into 6 specific strategies for mistake-proofing healthcare.

As discussed in Module: Anatomy of an Error, errors come in many forms, but they fall into three broad categories: skill-based, knowledge-based, and rules-based. Errors may occur in any one of these functional areas; often they occur in a combination of them.

There are two general ways of reducing the impact of error: prevention and minimization. That is, we can prevent errors from happening, and we can minimize the impact of errors when they do occur. There are specific error-proofing methods to accomplish both of these purposes. These will be described and applied in this module.

Click here if you’d like to see the full list of objectives.

Module Authors
Beau Wiseman, MEd
Victoria S. Kaprielian, MD


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Patient safety module series used with permission from Duke University
Duke University 2002-2021