Reducing Health Care Hazards

Lessons from the Commercial Aviation Safety Team

The movement to improve quality of care and patient safety has grown, but examples of measurable and sustained progress are rare. The slow progress made in health care contrasts with the success of aviation safety. After a tragic 1995 plane crash, the aviation industry and government created the Commercial Aviation Safety Team to reduce fatal accidents. This public-private partnership of safety officials and technical experts is responsible for the decreased average rate of fatal aviation accidents. We propose a similar partnership in the health care community to coordinate national efforts and move patient safety and quality forward.

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