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Categories: Health

Briefing Date:11/30/1999
Topic:To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Institute of Medicine

Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

*****

Congressional Briefing

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1999 - 4:00 p.m.

SC-4, The Capitol

on

TO ERR IS HUMAN: BUILDING A SAFER HEALTH SYSTEM

by

WILLIAM C. RICHARDSON, Ph.D, - President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Chair, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

DONALD M. BERWICK, M.D., M.P.P. - President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Member, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

MOLLY JOEL COYE, M.D., M.P.H. - Vice President and Director, West Coast Office, The Lewin Group and Member, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

LUCIAN L. LEAPE, M.D. - Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Department of Health Policy Management, Harvard School of Public Health and Member, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

CHARLES R. BUCK, JR., Sc.D. - Program Leader, Health Care Quality and Strategic Initiatives and Member, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America

The human cost of medical errors is high and while errors may be easily detected in hospitals, serious mistakes occur in every health care setting, from outpatient clinics to retail pharmacies to nursing homes. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has launched a major initiative to look at ways to improve the quality of health care in the United States. Its first report, TO ERR IS HUMAN: BUILDING A SAFER HEALTH SYSTEM, assesses the extent of errors in health care and offers steps to reduce them.

While reducing medical errors will require rigorous changes throughout the health care system, the report provides a four-part, comprehensive strategy for government, industry, consumers, and providers at all levels to reduce medical errors.

The study, which was funded by the Institute of Medicine, makes a number of recommendations to the Congress and the Executive Branch concerning ways in which the health care system can be made safer.

This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on November 29, 2000. It is available, in its entirety, through The National Academy Press web site.

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