Our healthcare system is facing a medical crisis
of epidemic proportions.
Preventable medical errors and hospital acquired infections are
shockingly pervasive in American hospitals, and they affect all
patients, regardless of age, gender, race or financial resources.
Everyone of us is at risk.
Preventable medical errors and other adverse events kill thousands upon thousands of hospitalized
Americans every year. Tens of thousands more suffer serious pain
and disability, sometimes lasting a lifetime. These tragic events
additionally result in billions of dollars of unnecessary healthcare
Ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a landmark
report, "To Err Is Human," which called for a drastic reduction in these preventable medical mistakes after finding that accidental overdoses, infections and other hospital errors had become a leading cause of death in America.
The IOM's report included an immediate "call to action" to improve patient safety and the quality of care in our healthcare system. With its alarming
statistics on the number of people killed and injured annually in American hospitals, the authors declared that "it would be irresponsible to expect anything less that a 50 percent reduction in errors over five years."
Well, we didn't even come close! Although pockets within the industry have finally started to address certain medical errors and hospital acquired infections, very
little progress has been made to date. The lack of a national commitment, the absence of any sense of urgency along with healthcare provider complacency appear to be the main reasons that the alarming
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
not enough; we must do."
number of deaths
and injuries in our nation's hospitals continue unabated. Indeed, some studies have found that the problem has only gotten worse, year after year. The American public still fails to understand the gravity and scope
of the problem, due in large part to the industry's lack of disclosure
and the medical shroud of secrecy and deceit.
Enough is enough. The status quo is simply no longer acceptable.
Preventable medical errors and hospital acquired infections remain
one of the most urgent, widespread public safety problems facing
our nation today.
We demand change and we demand it now. Unfortunately, this tipping point
just won't come about from tiptoeing timidly.