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Safe healthcare: we’re running out of excuses
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  1. David P Stevens
  1. Correspondence to David P Stevens, MD, Adjunct Professor and Director, Quality Literature Program, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Care, 30 Lafayette Street, Lebanon, NH 03766 USA; David.P.Stevens{at}Dartmouth.Edu

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Ten years is a long time. A decade after the US Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine’s call to action, To err is human: Building a safer health system,1 Leape et al remind us that reliably safe healthcare remains an unfulfilled expectation globally.2 Their report offers an expanded prescription for the transformation that is needed among healthcare professionals and institutions. Their report also suggests we’re running out of excuses.

Health professionals are not intentionally harmful. However, the prescription from these patient safety leaders—a call for transparency, integrated platforms of care, patient engagement, joy and meaning in work, and medical education reform—seems to collide with inertia that defies explanation.2

Fortunately, safety research has accelerated since the original IOM Report.3 Based on a perspective that includes reviewing hundreds of research papers that have been submitted to QSHC in the last five years, I suggest three additional opportunities …

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