More Than 1,000 Preventable Deaths a Day Is Too Many: The Need to Improve Patient Safety.
Approach to Improving Safety
A group of patient safety experts, including Drs. Peter Pronovost, Ashish Jha, and Tejal Gandhi, testified to Congress that more must be done to track and prevent widespread patient harms. The title of the hearing was based on the seminal study estimating that as many as 200,000 to 400,000 patients experience harms that contribute to their death each year. The medical experts recounted the lack of significant progress since the landmark Institute of Medicine report in 1999, and they called on Congress to task the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with tracking medical errors and patient harm. Dr. John James, a scientist who became engaged in patient safety efforts following the death of his son due to medical errors, recommended that lawmakers establish a National Patient Safety Board, similar to the current National Transportation Safety Board. A prior AHRQ WebM&M perspective discussed the many challenges of measuring patient safety.