Vice President Joe Biden at the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit: Zero by 2020 Is ‘Within Our Grasp’

Irvine, CA

In his keynote remarks at the third annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in Irvine, Calif., over the weekend, Vice President Joe Biden told the several hundred doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, medical technology executives, and patient advocates that, “over the last three years you’ve broken down silos between patients, providers, hospitals, medical technology companies and government.” Much progress remains to be made to eliminate the more than 200,000 preventable patient deaths – with some estimates showing as many at 400,000 deaths annually – Biden said. Though eliminating hospital-caused deaths isn’t impossible. “There’s no reason we can’t get to zero preventable deaths by 2020,” the Vice President said. “You are the most advanced health providers in the world. This is within our grasp.” From the recession-busting American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to the Affordable Care Act, the vice president noted that the Administration has made significant investments in making hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. Through collaboration with hospitals, providers, health care technology companies, and consumers, these investments are starting to show a measurable impact. New data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17 percent from 2010 to 2013, resulting in 1.3 million fewer patient harms and 50,000 lives saved. Since 2013, the Patient Safety Movement has convened annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology summits, which bring together some of the world’s best minds for thought-provoking discussions and new ideas to challenge the healthcare system status quo. Through specific, measurable high-impact Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) to meet patient safety challenges, the Patient Safety Movement encourages medical technology companies to share their data, and asks hospitals to make commitments to implement the APSS. To date, nine APSS have been developed by stakeholders representing more than 500 hospitals and have been responsible for 6,214 lives saved. Three new APSS were unveiled at this year’s Summit:

  • Early Detection of Sepsis
  • Optimal Resuscitation
  • Provider and Patient Assertiveness

The Patient Safety Movement also honors outstanding leaders in healthcare who are making significant strides to reduce and eliminate preventable patient harm. This year, the Patient Safety Movement presented Humanitarian Awards to:

  • Tom Kallstrom, CEO of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  • Anna Noonan, Vice President in the James M. Jeffords Institute for Quality & Operational Effectiveness and Eileen Whalen, CEO of University of Vermont Medical Center

Patient Safety Movement founder Joe Kiani said he anticipates many more hospitals will make commitments and implement APSS over the course of this year, with the hope to be at 30,000 to 60,000 lives saved annually by next year’s Summit. These numbers will be validated using metrics collaboratively developed during the 2015 Summit. Already many major organizations, such as the Healthcare Quality Institute (HQI) – encompassing 400 hospitals in California – have begun implementing APSS. The 400 hospital members of HQI alone have committed to saving thousands of lives through reducing:

  • Sepsis
  • Early elective C-sections
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
  • Falls
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Post-partum hemorrhage

“With the wisdom, leadership and inspiration from former President Clinton and Vice President Biden, and with the love, compassion and dedication from so many who have joined this Movement, we are well on our way to reducing preventable patient deaths,” Kiani said. “But it is only by putting aside differences and with all of us working together – including patients, clinicians, medical technology companies and government – can we achieve the ultimate goal of eliminating all preventable patient deaths.” Video and summaries of the 2015 Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit will be posted soon at

Media Contacts
Irene Mulonni, PR for Dolphins, [email protected] | (858) 859-7001