The fact that patients are not entirely safe in a hospital is not eaking news. Errors in healthcare delivery were occurring long before the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine exposed significant gaps in the healthcare system in the United States.
The institute’s report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, found that healthcare was at least a decade behind other high-risk industries, such as aviation, in its attention to ensuring basic safety. The studies also revealed that more Americans are dying each year from preventable medical errors than from east cancer, AIDS or motor vehicle accidents. The shocking statistics touched off a lively debate and sparked a renewed interest in a variety of performance improvement initiatives.