History and Timeline
A Central Voice for Patient Safety
The National Patient Safety Foundation began as an idea proposed in 1996 at a large conference on medical error that was organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association, and the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower Medical Center in California. At that meeting, representatives of the AMA, the country’s premier physician organization, announced plans to form a foundation that would be “a collaborative initiative involving all members of the healthcare community aimed at stimulating leadership, fostering awareness, and enhancing patient safety knowledge creation, dissemination and implementation.”
Since then, NPSF has had a history of acting as a central voice for the advancement of patient safety in the US and worldwide.
- 1997-NPSF becomes an independent, not-for-profit organization with its own governance structure. Among the Foundation’s first activities is a survey, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates, which finds that more than 100 million Americans have been touched by what they consider medical mistakes.
- 1998-First NPSF Research Grants announced. One grant funded research into auditory warning signals in critical care settings; the second studied quantitative measurement of the progression of clinical expertise.
- 1999- Declaring the safe use of pharmaceuticals to be a national health priority, NPSF establishes a National Steering Committee on Pharmaceutical Safety.
- 2000- NPSF launches new Patient Safety Awards Program; NPSF develops a Statement of Principle in response to requests from patients & their families and distributes it to every hospital in the US.
- 2001- NPSF founds Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC); launches Corporate Council Program.
- 2002-Launch of the first annual Patient Safety Awareness Week; Stand Up for Patient Safety campaign is established.
- 2002-NPSF introduces an ambulatory surgery consensus initiative and releases Phase I Final Report of this initiative.
- 2002-The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) publishes National Agenda for Action: Parents and Families in Patient Safety−Nothing About Me, Without Me. This white paper outlines how NPSF will take a leading role in 4 key areas: education, culture, research, & support services.
- 2003-The Patient Safety Store opens, offering a central online source for patient safety resources.
- 2004-NPSF joins with Alaris Medical Systems to create a five-year fellowship for nurses.
- 2005-The Foundation’s governance structure is redesigned to broaden representation and input of all stakeholders committed to enhancing patient safety.
- 2007-NPSF creates the Lucian Leape Institute to serve as a strategic think tank on matters related to patient safety.
- 2007-The Stand Up for Patient Safety Program is introduced for ambulatory centers, in conjunction with a broad initiative sponsored by NPSF, the Medical Group Management Association, and AIG Healthcare.
- 2008- National Patient Safety Foundation proposes a Universal Patient Compact.
- 2009-The Lucian Leape Institute publishes the paper, Transforming Healthcare: A Safety Imperative; NPSF announces support for mandatory flu vaccination of health care workers.
- 2010-The Lucian Leape Institute publishes a white paper, Unmet Needs: Teaching Physicians to Provide Safe Care, which makes recommendations for culture change and curricula redesign to foster a better understanding of patient safety among young physicians.
- 2011-NPSF establishes the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety, a membership society for individuals across the health care spectrum who are committed to improving patient safety.