Two faces of patient safety and care quality: A Franco-American comparison

Laurent Degos, Victor G. Rodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Patient safety, and more broadly the quality of care, is typically discussed with reference to the reduction of preventable adverse events within hospitals and adherence to practice guidelines on care processes. We call it the care-centered approach and recognize that the United States is a leader in the field. Another face of patient safety and care quality may be defined as the system-centered approach. It focuses on access to a timely and effective continuum of health-care services - clinical prevention, primary care and appropriate referral to and receipt of specialty care. Although France's efforts to pursue a care-centered approach to patient safety are limited, its system-centered approach yields some benefits. Based on the evidence we have reviewed for access to primary care (hospital discharges for avoidable hospital conditions), mortality amenable to medical intervention and consumer satisfaction, in the United States and France, there appear to be good grounds for bolstering the system-centered approach in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Economics, Policy and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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