During the 1990s, a growing realization emerged amongst the medical community that patients were being harmed during the course of their care. This came about through several highly influential studies1 , 2 and reports.3 , 4 The statistics presented were truly shocking: 1 in 10 patients experiences an adverse incident during a hospital stay3; deaths due to complications attributable to the provision of care are equivalent to an airliner crashing every week.4 The potentially preventable ways in which patients come to harm are many and varied, from the most obvious and shocking, such as operating on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient5 or accidentally giving an massive drug overdose6 to less obvious and potentially overlooked events such as catheter-related infections and postoperative wound infections.3 , 4