[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 24/31, 2002

What Practices Will Most Improve Safety?Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Patient Safety

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health (Drs Leape and Berwick); Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Berwick) and Medicine (Dr Bates), Harvard Medical School; Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Dr Berwick), and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Dr Bates), Boston, Mass.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(4):501-507. doi:10.1001/jama.288.4.501

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report To Err Is Human1 converted an issue of growing professional awareness to one of substantial public concern in a manner and pace unprecedented in modern experience with matters of health care quality. The epidemiologic finding that more than 1 million injuries and nearly 100 000 deaths occur in the United States annually as a result of mistakes in medical care came from studies nearly a decade old, but it was new information for the public, and it resonated strongly. In short order, the US Congress initiated hearings and the president ordered a government-wide feasibility study, which led to a subsequent directive to governmental agencies to implement the recommendations of the IOM report. The IOM called on all parties to make improving patient safety a national priority. In response, physicians, hospitals, and health care organizations have been searching for safe practices and asking what they should do to make health care safer.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview