glendon farrow

MB.BS (Hons) mba fracs(General/paed) AFRACMA maicd

This book is written for those on the frontline of healthcare. Nurses, doctors, allied health professionals who practise at the bedside in wards, emergency departments and intensive care units across the country.

It’s particularly aimed at new “recruits” starting out in their career who need to have critical information available in order to be safe. There is no time for you to gain experience, but experience is what you need to make safe and sensible decisions. This book attempts to bridge that gap.

Each chapter has a simple heading, focusing on a simple strategy to remember.

This book is about
• individual strategies, and not about safety systems
• responsibility, and not about blame.

The book deliberately uses stories and axioms based on the my own experiences, but also firmly based in quality science.Each chapter has a simple heading to remember and take home messages at the end.

The principles of High Reliability Organisations and Human Factors are referenced throughout, along with seminal papers on quality and other relevant research.


A practical common-sense approach to clinical care can reduce risk. When I started in medicine as an intern in 1984, our guidance was based on bitter clinical experience. Today that experience is backed by solid data, and in an evidence-based world we must take action. 


  1. Have a clear mission
  2. Sit down, be humble
  3. Check your equipment
  4. Have a collision drill
  5. Common things are commonest
  6. Changing signs means changing pathology
  7. The GP is always right, until proven otherwise
  8. Time spent on communication is seldom wasted
  9. The clock is always ticking
  10. What must I not miss!
  11. Don’t touch the monitor
  12. Trust but verify
  13. First things first
  14. Stay on the pathway
  15. Beware the quiet child
  16. It’s always the operation, until proven otherwise
  17. Accept the landing
  18. Bad news doesn’t get better with time
  19. Beware the difficult parent or patient
  20. Treat your patient like family

 The free download provides more information about these strategies. I hope you enjoy the book and find it useful in your everyday work.

Praise & Reviews

“Dr. Farrow has written the essential handbook of patient safety books. As a surgeon and medical administrator, he draws on his own rich experiences to highlight the 20 key strategies to prevent adverse outcomes. I warmly recommend ‘Frontline Patient Safety’ to all health professionals.”

— Jeffrey V Rosenfeld AC, OBE, KStJ, FAHMS, FTSE, FRACS,
 Senior Neurosurgeon, Alfred Hospital
and Professor of Surgery, Monash University

“Combining his military, surgical and leadership experience Glen has produced an essential guide on how to practice safely “at the pointy end” of patient care. While there have been system improvements in safety performance in recent years this book addresses the next challenge in keeping patients safe and asks “what can I do as a professional at the bedside while caring for my patient.”

— Daniel T Cass AM, FRACS
Senior Paediatric Surgeon, Children’s Hospital at Westmead
William Dunlop Professor of Paediatric Surgery,
University of Sydney