Letter from the Chairman, December 2019

Dear PatientAiders,

As we near the end of 2019, I want to take a moment to look back and recognize a couple of important milestones we achieved this year. With your help, we have made some significant strides as a Movement that we can be very proud of:

  • The World Health Organization proclaimed September 17th as World Patient Safety Day, making patient safety an international priority
  • With WHO, ISQua, and IHI, PSMF convened the first Africa Patient Safety Initiative High-level Forum, October 24-25 in Cape Town. Representatives from 38 nations participated in the event to discuss patient safety issues and solutions on a global level.
  • Four educational organizations, Chapman University of Pharmacy, Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) School of Medicine, San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Nursing and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine committed to the Patient Safety Curriculum (APSS #17)
  • Three hospital systems earned the PSMF 5-Star Hospital Award for making commitments aligned with our APSS. Congrats to Dignity Health, Medstar Health and UPMC for providing an example of what can be accomplished.

The 20th anniversary of the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking report, “To Err is Human,” was published on the 29th of November which launched the global movement to eliminate preventable medical errors. With the momentum we’ve gained over the last 12 months, I believe that together, we can achieve ZERO before another 20 years passes.

Looking To 2020

As we look forward to the New Year, we will co-convene our 8th Annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, March 6-7, with ISQua, ASA and ESA. For the first time, we are also offering a Pre-Summit Symposium, March 5. At the Symposium, many of your colleagues will present the great work they’ve done to advance patient safety in their hospitals and share the lessons they’ve learned. If you haven’t done so already, please register!

At our 2019 Midyear Planning Meeting, we set plans in motion for a March for Patient Safety. We’ll have more to announce on this effort very soon.

In 2020, I encourage you to join us as a Regional Network Chair. We will work with you to establish relationships with local hospitals/healthcare organizations, healthcare technology companies, and partners in the patient advocacy community and beyond to spread the word and encourage more people to take action. Contact Sarah Miller to get involved.

As you look forward to 2020, know that it’s time to implement all the PSMF APSS and start saving lives. You can help us reach ZERO. The deadline for making new commitments, and updating your current commitments is December 31st, 2019.

In this Issue

This month’s Spotlight focuses on the great work John’s Hopkins has done to successfully reduce Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). VTE affects as many as 600,000 patients each year in the US and results in 100,000 deaths. Johns Hopkins’ multi-disciplinary team implemented APSS #12A to greatly reduce these embolic events. They’ve also made the tools and information they developed available to others at:

This issue also includes one patient’s journey through numerous medical errors following a serious car accident. That patient, Coby Omvlee, tells her near-death story and how it motivated her to raise patient safety awareness through theater.

A Time to Give

We have a lot of work ahead of us and we can’t do it without your help. You can stand with us by making a tax-deductible donation and save lives. Your generosity will advance patient safety initiatives and no gift is too big or too small.

Joe Kiani