Improvements in the safety of patient care can help end the medical malpractice crisis in the United States

George D. Dalton, Xanthia F. Samaropoulos, Augustine C. Dalton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The publication of To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1999 made the general public aware of the large number of patients that suffer preventable medical injuries in hospitals throughout the United States. Improvements in patient safety are needed to reduce this high incidence of medical error and must include the establishment of a culture of safety in every healthcare facility. A culture of safety is characterized by honesty, transparent error communication, and a systems analysis approach to medical error prevention. This type of medical culture can serve as the foundation for sustained improvements in patient safety and will help provide permanent relief from the medical malpractice crisis. Health policymakers should create policies that encourage hospital executives to establish and maintain cultures of safety in their institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Policy
Volume86
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

Keywords

  • Health policy
  • Malpractice
  • Medical errors
  • Organizational culture
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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