Near miss

Definition: 

A situation in which an event or omission, or a sequence of events or omissions, arising during clinical care fails to develop further, whether or not as the result of compensating action, thus preventing injury to a patient.

Definition: 

An event or situation that could have resulted in an accident, injury or illness, but did not, either by chance or through timely intervention.

Definition: 

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has defined a patient safety incident as ‘any unintended or unexpected incident which could have or did lead to harm for one or more patients’. This definition incorporates the concept of a near-miss – ‘any incident that had the potential to cause harm but was prevented, resulting in no harm’ although this is a term of variable definition. Other definitions or near-miss include ‘a situation in which an event or omission, or a sequence of events or omissions, arising during clinical care fails to develop further, whether or not as a result of compensating action, thus preventing injury to a patient.