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November 19, 1997

National Patient Safety Foundation Studies Systems

JAMA. 1997;278(19):1561. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550190025014

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TO ERR is human—and though health care practitioners who make mistakes in treating patients may count on divine forgiveness, current opinion holds that instituting quality safeguards is preferable to seeking absolution.

Promoting patient safety by using a systems approach to analyze human or organizational errors that may lead to patient injuries and thereby discover—and eliminate—their root cause is the goal of a new group launched by the American Medical Association (AMA).

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) at the AMA is, said its executive director Martin J. Hatlie, JD, an unprecedented initiative to enhance the safety of the US health care system. Its organizational structure encourages the interaction of safety experts, public health advocates, patient representatives, medical ethicists, physicians and other health care practitioners, managed care organizations, government, researchers, employers, lawyers, and liability insurers, among others.

The not-for-profit foundation is a collaborative effort of the AMA and founding sponsors