March 12, 2024

#PatientSafetyAwarenessWeek: Bipartisan National Patient Safety Board Act reintroduced to Congress

Editor's Note

US Representatives from California and Texas reintroduced the National Patient Safety Board (NPSB) Act, which aims to establish a public-private research and development team “dedicated to preventing and reducing healthcare-related harms." The March 11 announcement comes during Patient Safety Awareness Week, an annual awareness initiative focusing on the importance of safety among team members and patients each year. 

The proposed legislation would establish a team within the Department of Health and Human Services that works with existing federal agencies and patient safety organizations to focus on medication and pathology lab errors, wrong-site surgeries, hospital-acquired infections, and transitions of care. Learnings could help to monitor and anticipate adverse events, and introduce new practices.

The Joint Commission supports patient safety by surveying quality and identifying areas of improvement. Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, president and chief executive officer for The Joint Commission shared in a video that burdensome, redundant survey questions have been eliminated.

“We’ve put the focus where it counts to advocate for safe, effective, equitable and compassionate care in the US and through Joint Commission International around the world,” he said.

Many other healthcare leaders across the country have expressed their commitment to safe care:

  • "New attention is being paid to longstanding patient safety challenges, but substantial progress requires the creation of a national home for patient safety to promote substantive solutions.” —Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, president and chief executive officer for the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative and spokesperson for the NPSB Advocacy Coalition
  • “As healthcare providers, our top priority and collective responsibility is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our patients through highly reliable care that minimizes preventable harm.” —Peter WT Pisters, MD, president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • “We strive for a culture of safety that results in the best possible patient outcomes, every time.” —Dr. Stephen Evans, executive vice president and chief medical officer for MedStar Health.
  • “We can no longer look the other way. A National Patient Safety Board will collect such data, learn from that data, and expedite the development of solutions so that everyone engaged in health care are as safe as possible as soon as possible.” —Sue Sheridan, founding member of Patients for Patient Safety US

The National Patient Safety Board Advocacy Coalition is comprised of leading healthcare organizations, advocates and experts with a goal to improve and promote public health and welfare.

This year's theme for Patient Safety Awareness Week is "Safer Together." Resources to raise awareness and promote your safety initiatives can be found on the Center for Patient Safety website.


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