Skip Navigation

30 Safe Practices for Better Health Care. Fact Sheet


The National Quality Forum has identified 30 safe practices that, evidence shows, can work to reduce or prevent adverse events and medication errors. These practices can be universally adopted by all health care settings to reduce the risk of harm to patients.

The safe practices are organized into the following categories:

  • Creating a culture of safety
  • Matching health care needs with service delivery capability
  • Facilitating information transfer and clear communication
  • Specific settings or processes of care
  • Increasing safe medication use

A printable PDF version is available. This tool also provides background information about the National Quality Forum, as well as links to a report providing more detailed information about the 30 safe practices.

Links to the Tool:
This tool is available at:
The PDF version of this tool is available at: (If you don't have the software to open this PDF, download free Adobe Acrobat ReaderĀ® software External Web Site Policy.)


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; National Quality Forum

Funding Sources

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

QualityTool Topic

patient/medication safety

Related Resources

  • Making health care safer: a critical analysis of patient safety practices. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2001.  (Evidence report/technology assessment; no. 43).
  • National Quality Forum. Safe practices for better healthcare: a consensus report. [internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ; 2003 Aug [accessed 2005 Mar 30]). Available from:


  • Release Date: 03/2005
  • Original Summary: 03/2005
Disclaimer: The inclusion of a tool in the Innovations Exchange does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or Westat of the tool or of the submitter or developer of the tool. Read more.
QualityTool Classification
Patient Care Process:
IOM Domains of Quality:
QualityTool Topic:

Last updated: December 18, 2013.