NPSF supports findings from IOM report

November 29, 1999

Chicago, IL -- The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) is in strong support of the findings from the report on patient safety, just released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. The IOM report recommends a four-part plan that systematically designs safety into the process of care.

The NPSF has worked to measurably improve patient safety since it was founded in 1997. According to Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D., Chair of the NPSF Board of Directors, "The findings of this report are very important to the issue of improving patient safety and working toward the goal of fail-safe care processes. The IOM information is very supportive of earlier learning and should help raise awareness and establish patient safety as a national priority." Manasse also sees that the report will provide additional momentum and focus, so that a wider community will act upon improving patient safety.

Since it's formation, the NPSF has taken a "new look" at errors and accidents in health care that emphasizes a systems-learning approach , as opposed to methods that focus only on blame and punishment for mistakes. The NPSF has focused on establishing a culture of trust, honesty, integrity and open communications for the continued improvement of patient safety. And, consistent with the IOM recommendations, the NPSF believes that fundamental changes are needed to sustain improvements.

Nancy W. Dickey , MD, Past Chair of the NPSF Board of Directors said, "In general, medicine is very safe, but medicine is also very complex and is not without risk. Any error that harms a patient is one error too many. While we may never achieve perfection, we must continue to strive for it. The NPSF will continue to lead the effort to improve patient safety."

Dickey continued, "We've made excellent progress in convening many of the appropriate organizations and individuals who will provide leadership, expertise, and resources for needed action." Two such examples include the NPSF's Pharmaceutical Safety Initiative, with its goal to reduce the risk of medication error, and the NPSF Solutions Project, focused on sharing best practice clinical examples that have improved patient safety with measurable outcomes.

The National Patient Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to the measurable improvement of patient safety in the delivery of health care. The NPSF was founded in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M. Other major benefactors include Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals. The NPSF has formed a unique partnership of health care clinicians, institutional providers, health product manufacturers, researchers, legal advisors, consumer advocates, regulators, and policy makers among its board of directors. Working collaboratively with its broad base of constituents, the NPSF is leading the patient safety movement by raising awareness, building a knowledge base, creating a forum for sharing knowledge, and facilitating the implementation of practices that improve patient safety.
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For more information about the NPSF, visit our website at www.npsf.org.

National Patient Safety Foundation

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