Data visualization, Knowledge, Network analysis, Nursing, Patient safety



  1. Kim, Eun Jung PhD, RN
  2. Seomun, GyeongAe PhD, RN


Patient safety is a critical and long-standing issue in nursing research. The purposes of this study were to explore the knowledge structure of patient safety and to provide a direction for future research by offering new perspectives and a theoretical clarification of patient safety in nursing.


Keyword network analysis was performed by extracting keywords from abstracts of 6072 published articles. To reflect nursing perspectives, focus group interviews were conducted and Kim's typology consisting of four domains was used as the framework of analysis. Visualized knowledge structure showed avoiding medication error and preventing pressure ulcers or falls remain important topics within this research field. The distribution of core keywords as per four domains was in the following order: practice, client, environment, and client-nurse domain. Within the client domain, patients' harm-related core keywords were limited to physical harm. The detailed knowledge structure consisted of five themes: patient, preventable patient harm, practice, error, and environment. It comprised risk assessment for patients' characteristics and environmental elements surrounding patient and nursing practice, and risk management using information as knowledge-based nursing practice. Regarding further research, we suggest a multidimensional approach to patient harm, and the utilization of the client-nurse relationship and information systems as strategies for patient safety.