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August 9, 2006

Tracking Progress in Patient Safety: An Elusive Target

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care (Dr Pronovost) and Pediatrics (Dr Miller), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md; and Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Wachter).

JAMA. 2006;296(6):696-699. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.696

The fifth anniversary of the Institute of Medicine's report on medical errors prompted widespread reflection on the progress with patient safety.1 Much of this reflection focused on a single question: Are patients safer now? Data from neither the entire US health care system nor individual hospitals can yield a credible answer.2-4