Patient Safety Movement Foundation today announced their Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to reduce preventable patient deaths in U.S. hospitals to zero by 2020. The announcement was made as part of the Foundation’s participation in the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York.
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported 100,000 hospital patients were dying unnecessarily. Today, more than 200,000 preventable patient deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals.1,2 Globally, the death toll is estimated at 3 million. Preventable patient deaths take more lives each year than highway accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS combined.
“We are here to share with the global community our commitment to eradicate preventable patient deaths in hospitals,” said Joe Kiani, Founder of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. “Making this announcement at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative is a milestone for our organization. It was just a year ago that we walked away from CGI knowing the steps we needed to take to fulfill our mission. We were honored to have President Clinton present his patient safety challenge at our first annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in January.”
“The Foundation is already seeing results,” Mr. Kiani added. “We are bringing together some of the best minds to identify the challenges and provide tested solutions. The key is that everyone that participates makes a commitment to take action to get to zero preventable deaths. To date, we have had twenty-five pioneering hospitals and nine of the leading medical technology companies come forward. One hospital recently reported that as part of their participation, they now have zero preventable deaths. The goal is attainable.”
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation is creating a roadmap toward zero preventable deaths. It is critical to have a system of transparency so everyone can understand the total number of preventable hospital deaths and the root cause of each death. The Foundation is working to unify the healthcare ecosystem and create a patient data superhighway. The technologies used in hospitals today are not always able to communicate or interoperate, and this makes it very difficult for clinicians to take care of their patients. In the next year, the Foundation will also focus on creating additional Safety Solutions, eliminating misaligned incentives, and promoting patient advocates in each hospital.
The Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit is the Foundation’s annual conference. It is designed to identify and confront large-scale patient safety problems with actionable ideas and cutting-edge innovations that can transform the process of care, dramatically improving patient safety in hospitals. Last year, leading medical technology companies pledged to make device communication and data accessibility a reality. Hospitals pledged to implement patient safety protocols. From patient advocates to notable leaders from other industries, everyone pledged to do their part in attaining zero preventable patient deaths in hospitals.
“When you lose a child and you feel it could have been prevented, the only thing you can do is try to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else’s kid,” said Lenore Alexander. “My 11-year-old daughter Leah underwent elective surgery to correct an orthopedic condition at a prestigious American hospital. Though the surgery went well, I woke up in her room on the second post-operative night to find my daughter dead in her bed. She was the victim of an undetected respiratory arrest caused by the narcotics intended to ease her pain. While the necessary detection technology was available to hospital staff, post-surgical monitoring was not the norm. If Leah had been monitored continuously after surgery, she might have been saved. This kind of unnecessary loss is still happening to too many patients—adults as well as kids.”