Books for Patient Safety Professionals

Like any field, Patient Safety has its own terminology and key ideas that a practicing professional needs to get under their belt.

This blog was created to cover different topics and challenges around patient safety but sometimes a good book offers a structured and comprehensive approach the way a collection of blog posts does not.

I have organized these books by topic and category. For example, if you are working to set up a safe surgery checklist I have included books that would be relevant to that topic.

Medication Errors:

Medication errors and the patient safety science to prevent them are a key backbone to safe hospitals. The book Medication Errors offers an in-depth look at factors that contribute to medication errors and recommends steps for preventing them. Michael Cohen does a wonderful job of helping us understand the causes of medication errors. It’s important to understand the shared responsibility for error prevention by all participants in the medication-use process, and the need for heightened vigilance against errors with specific medications, patients, and conditions

Another good book on medication safety geared for the outpatient community is standardizing medication labels:


As an anesthesiologist, I am a huge safe surgery checklist advocate. While the idea of checklists may be old news, many institutions still struggle with the culture and execution of a safe surgery checklist.

A great place to start is Atual Gwande’s classic, the checklist manifesto.