Journal Article

Pushing the profession: how the news media turned patient safety into a priority.

Millenson ML. Quality & safety in health care. 2002;11:57-63.

This article highlights the role of the news media in catalyzing the patient safety movement. The author maintains that the medical profession adopted an “ostrich-like attitude” toward medical errors prior to the intensified media coverage of high-profile mistakes. In the postwar era, trust in physicians was high, and the media profiled mainly scientific progress. In the past two decades, media coverage of medical mishaps has increased and changed the attitude toward patient safety. The author cites specific cases profiled in the media and the changes these cases prompted in the medical system, including a number of large-scale patient safety committees, projects, and landmark legislation.