In the ten years since "To Err is Human," has patient safety been improved?

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 2, 2009

November 2009 marked the ten year anniversary since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its groundbreaking 'To Err is Human' report, bringing to light the staggering number of medical errors and resulting preventable deaths that occur in U.S. hospitals each year (that report put the number at 98,000). Since then, entire organizations have been formed, laws passed, and new ways of thinking incorporated into healthcare in an effort to reduce this number, reports HealthLeaders Media.

Much positive progress has been made. Some of the bright spots include:

  • Certain states have taken the lead on creating tough reporting laws and mandating detailed incident reports.
  • The Institute for Healthcare Improvement has helped thousands of hospitals collaborate with each other and use best practices to reduce patient harm with its various campaigns.
  • Healthcare providers have joined together to decide on common medication labeling practices to reduce the number of medication errors.
  • There's been a detailed look at how the culture of an organization can drive the performance of its staff members.

There remains room for improvement, though. The article names infection control, medication safety, and surgical safety as areas to which more attention needs to be paid.

To read the full article from HealthLeaders Media, click here.