Twenty years after the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report, To Err is Human, preventable deaths and injuries associated with medical error persist across the health care system. As part of an in-depth series of news articles and commentary in Modern Healthcare, a national health care business and policy magazine, talked to CEOs, patients, patient safety leaders and others to find answers to the question: Why do patient safety issues remain a serious challenge in America’s health care system? Work by the Betsy Lehman Center is featured throughout the issue.
Although more than two dozen states require providers to report adverse patient events, most limit reportable events to a narrow range of all harm events and errors.
Linda Kenney, Director of Peer Support Programs at the Betsy Lehman Center, talks about experiencing two life-threatening medical errors 20 years apart. Although the response from the hospital after her most recent experience was an improvement over the earlier one, she says there’s still work to be done. “When you survive something like this, you want to make sure no one else goes through it again.”
Still, there are pockets of success and reasons to be optimistic. Modern Healthcare highlights important work being done by groups like the Children’s Hospitals Solutions for Patient Safety Network, the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety, and the Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium.