How to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety
Abstract: Thousands of Americans die each year as a result of medical errors. Hospital leaders are in a distinctive position to nurture organizational culture and initiate steps needed to reduce the systemic causes of medical errors and harm to patients. This article explains how to nurture a culture of safety, build a safety program, and use proven tools for improving communication and building awareness among staff, patients and families. A sidebar discusses “root cause analysis,” a structured approach for identifying the factors that result in harmful outcomes.