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NPSF News & Press: Lucian Leape Institute

LLI Releases “Transforming Healthcare: A Safety Imperative”

Thursday, December 3, 2009   (0 Comments)
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DECEMBER 3, 2009 (BOSTON, MA) – The Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) yesterday released a paper outlining measures necessary in reforming and improving the safety of the healthcare system. The paper, “Transforming Healthcare: A Patient Safety Imperative,” is featured in Quality and Safety in Health Care, a British Medical Journal publication as the Editor’s Choice.


“Transforming Healthcare” follows up on a groundbreaking 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine – “To Err Is Human” – which reported alarming data on the scope and impact of medical errors in the U.S. That research revealed that a staggering one million people are injured, and 98,000 die annually from preventable medical errors. The Institute’s paper analyzes the proliferation of improvement efforts over the past decade, noting that progress toward improvement has been markedly slow. Some of this lack of progress, the report observes, may be attributed to the persistence of a medical ethos that discourages teamwork and transparency and undermines the establishment of accountability for safe care.

The Lucian Leape Institute, established by the National Patient Safety Foundation (U.S.) to provide vision and strategic direction for the field of patient safety, has identified five transforming concepts as fundamental to accelerating the work and making sustainable improvements in the safety of the health care system. These five concepts are full transparency, care integration, patient engagement, restoration of joy and meaning in work and medical education reform. This paper illustrates the significance of each concept as a component of safer healthcare. The Institute’s ongoing work comprises convening a variety of stakeholder and expert forums to fully examine and develop each of these transforming concepts, and issue related recommendations and high level calls to action for policy makers, organizations, and healthcare professionals.   The goal is to help expedite the work by providing informed influence on key levers in the system in order to break down existing barriers to improvement.

“We are delighted to share this paper with the international medical community,” noted Dr. Lucian Leape, president and founding member of the Lucian Leape Institute. “In it, we introduce a vision for transforming the healthcare system into a culture of learning that is transparent, supportive, adaptive and, foremost, dedicated to the safety of the individual patient.”

Key authors of the paper include Lucian Leape, Donald Berwick, Carolyn Clancy, Jim Conway, Paul Gluck, Jim Guest, David Lawrence, Dennis O’Leary, Paul O’Neill and Diane Pinakiewicz.

“This paper frames the initial work of the Institute and challenges the major system-level barriers to accelerated development and adoption of patient safety practices critical to optimal health care delivery, said NPSF and Institute  President Diane Pinakiewicz. “ The Institute Members are dedicated to improving the safety of health care delivery and this work is designed to help provide additional leverage for all of those working toward the same goal.”

The National Patient Safety Foundation® has been diligently pursuing one mission since its founding in 1997 – to improve the safety of the healthcare system for the patients and families it serves.  The Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation is charged with defining strategic paths and calls to action for the field of patient safety, offering vision and context for the many efforts underway within health care, and providing the leverage necessary for change at the system level. Its members comprise national thought leaders with a common interest in patient safety whose expertise and influence are brought to bear as the Institute calls for the innovation necessary to expedite the work and create significant, sustainable improvements in culture, process, and outcomes critical to safer health care.

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