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Naming the “baby” or the “beast”? The importance of concepts and labels in healthcare safety investigation

Wiig, Siri; Macrae, Carl; Frich, Jan; Øyri, Sina Furnes


Siri Wiig

Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Psychology

Jan Frich

Sina Furnes Øyri


This paper focuses on concepts and labels used in investigation of adverse events in healthcare. The aim is to prompt critical reflection of how different stakeholders frame investigative activity in healthcare and to discuss the implications of the labels we use. We particularly draw attention to issues of investigative content, legal aspects, as well as possible barriers and facilitators to willingly participate, share knowledge, and achieve systemic learning. Our message about investigation concepts and labels is that they matter and influence the quality of investigation, and how these activities may contribute to system learning and change. This message is important for the research community, policy makers, healthcare practitioners, patients, and user representatives.


Wiig, S., Macrae, C., Frich, J., & Øyri, S. F. (2023). Naming the “baby” or the “beast”? The importance of concepts and labels in healthcare safety investigation. Frontiers in Public Health, 11, Article 1087268.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2023
Publication Date Feb 10, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2023
Journal Frontiers in Public Health
Electronic ISSN 2296-2565
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Article Number 1087268
Keywords Public Health, safety investigation, patient safety, inspection, investigation, learning
Public URL
Publisher URL


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