In Nov. 1999, the Institute of Medicine, which now is the National Academy of Medicine, released its landmark report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.
The report, which estimated that as many as 98,000 people died each year in U.S. hospitals because of preventable medical harm, captured the attention of the public, policymakers and the media and was a call to action for hospitals, health systems and other providers of care.
In anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the report’s release, media outlets will be revisiting the report and commenting on the progress the field has made on the important issues of quality and patient safety. With this renewed interest, it is critical that hospitals and health systems be prepared to respond to questions from the public and the media about what has been done to improve patient safety over the past two decades.
The anniversary also is an opportunity for hospitals to proactively share the many strides they have taken to improve safety and the quality of care for patients.
An American Hospital Association (AHA) advisory includes talking points and messages to consider when crafting communications and responding to questions. It also includes various other resources, such as an action plan, helpful national statistics and a digital toolkit.