During the early 1900’s, the medical profession began to exhibit awareness of the increasingly complex nature of providing safe and effective care to the ill, injured, or aged.1 Since that time, despite a century of evolving practice, technology, and business models – and trillions of dollars in investment – the storyline is the same: heartbreaking stories caused by preventable harm.
For too long in healthcare, the mindset has been that patient harms are inevitable, that silos are natural, and that heroism rather than thoughtful design keeps patients safe. These beliefs persist today, and they are significant reasons for the perpetuation of harm. Thousands of patients continue to die and many more are injured as a result of preventable medical errors – errors that occurred despite the caregiver’s best intentions. In many cases, these errors could have been avoided if the right mindset and mechanisms were in place.