Author Affiliations: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Mr Mathews); and Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Department of Health Policy Management, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (Dr Pronovost), Baltimore, Maryland.
The publication of To Err Is Human was the vanguard to improve patient safety.1 Upon nearing the report's 10-year anniversary, little appears to have changed with significant barriers encountered when attempting to track progress.2
A long overdue and central thrust to improve patient safety and quality is standardizing the delivery of health care. In this Commentary, standards refer to explicit criteria when using specific preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions and when delivering health services. Standards take many forms, from protocols developed by a health system, insurer, or professional society to safety practices developed by national organizations.
Mathews SC, Pronovost PJ. Physician Autonomy and Informed Decision MakingFinding the Balance for Patient Safety and Quality. JAMA. 2008;300(24):2913-2915. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.846