AHA Statement on 20th Anniversary of ‘To Err Is Human’ Report

Rick Pollack
President and CEO
American Hospital Association

November 21, 2019

 

Twenty years ago, the Institute of Medicine issued a call to action and the women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems responded by working tirelessly to make health care better, safer and more patient-centered. Due to the efforts of hospital and health system leaders, trustees, caregivers on the front lines and all of the other dedicated employees ensuring safe and caring environments, our field has improved the safety and quality of care, delivering real progress that has benefited patients.

For instance: Hospitals and health systems have achieved significant reductions in avoidable readmissions, hospital-acquired conditions, healthcare-associated infections and medically unnecessary early-elective deliveries. Patients also are reporting more and more favorable hospital experiences. And hospitals that directly engaged in the AHA’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network program saved $1.2 billion in health care costs, prevented 141,000 patient safety events and saved 14,000 lives.


Working with clinicians, hospital and health system leaders have driven these improvements in care by fostering a culture of safety that encourages all members of the team to identify and share safety issues so we can learn from them and prevent them from happening again. We’ve increased effective communication between clinicians and patients, and increased transparency with the public on quality and safety. As care coordination expands, we’ve prioritized patient safety throughout the continuum of care and across settings and care teams. We’ve also invested in and adopted numerous technologies and best practices to support safer care.

We know that one preventable safety event is one too many, which is why hospitals and health systems are dedicated to continuous improvement. We are focused on further reducing infections and improving antibiotic stewardship. We are working to reduce the persistent inequities in care by more carefully measuring them and deploying our quality and safety efforts and resources. And we are stepping up efforts to make sure women have safe pregnancies, from the first days of pregnancy through the postpartum period.


The AHA’s mission is to advance the health of individuals and communities. As our health care system continues to transform, America’s hospitals and health systems remain laser-focused on providing all patients with high-quality, safe and individualized care so we can continue to save lives, perform miracles and keep people healthy.

 

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Contact:      Colin Milligan, (202) 638-5491

                     Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351

 

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