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Fifteen years after To Err is Human: a success story to learn from

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  • Contributors PJP conceived and drafted the manuscript content and supervised the work. JC and DW contributed intellectual content to the journey in reducing CLABSI and reviewed and revised the manuscript, and AS acquired and conducted the descriptive data analysis and reviewed and revised the manuscript. Relative to the contributors, Christine G Holzmueller, BLA, affiliated with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, reviewed, edited and proofed the structure and flow of the essay.

  • Competing interests PJP reports the following potential conflicts of interest: grant or contract support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (research related to patient safety and quality of care), the National Institutes of Health (research on long-term outcomes for acute lung injury patients) and the American Medical Association, Inc. (research to improve blood pressure control); honoraria from various healthcare organisations for speaking on patient safety and quality (the Leigh Bureau manages these engagements); book royalties from the Penguin Group for his book, Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals; and stock and fees to serve as a director for Cantel Medical. PJP is a founder of Patient Doctor Technologies, a startup company that seeks to enhance the partnership between patients and clinicians with an application called Doctella.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Data are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention databases: National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance System for 1991–1999 and National Healthcare Safety Network for 2013.