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October 12, 2005

To Err Is Human

JAMA. 2005;294(14):1758-1759. doi:10.1001/jama.294.14.1758-a

To the Editor: In their article on the relatively limited changes that have followed the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report To Err Is Human, Drs Leape and Berwick1 correctly argue that complexity, professional fragmentation, individualism, and hierarchical authority structures, along with vague accountability and lack of hospital or health plan leadership, create barriers to team work and individual accountability, prerequisites for a culture of safety in medicine. We wish to draw attention to the critical role that specialty societies can play in advancing patient safety.

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