National Patient Safety Foundation Urges Public to Navigate Your Health…Safely

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Webcast series on diagnostic error begins during Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2014.

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Providing safe patient care can best be achieved when patients are key members of the team and are encouraged to take an active role in their care.

Diagnostic error is the focus as the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) leads Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2014. This year’s theme, Navigate Your Health…Safely, highlights the need for health care providers to ensure that patients and consumers are more engaged in the health care process, whether they are visiting the doctor for a routine exam or entering the hospital for surgery.

"All of us will be patients at some point in life, and we should approach that experience the way we would approach any important journey—with careful planning and communication," says NPSF President Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS. "Navigate Your Health…Safely reminds us that that providing safe patient care can best be achieved when patients are key members of the team and are encouraged to take an active role in their care."

A patient’s health journey starts with diagnosis, but experts estimate that up to one in every 10 diagnoses is wrong, delayed, or missed completely and that, collectively, diagnostic errors may account for 40,000-80,000 deaths per year in the US. For Patient Safety Awareness Week 2014, NPSF has teamed up with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) to develop and disseminate educational materials for clinicians, health systems, and patients and consumers specifically related to better understanding and prevention of diagnostic errors. These resources will be available on the NPSF website during Patient Safety Awareness Week.

In collaboration with SIDM and with generous sponsorship of the Cautious Patient Foundation, NPSF is also presenting a series of webcasts on this topic:

Monday, March 3, 2014 | 1:00–2:00 pm ET
Patient and Family Engagement to Prevent Diagnostic Error


  • Martine Ehrenclou, MA, Award-winning author, health care advocate
  • Kathryn McDonald, MM, Senior Scholar & Executive Director, Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University
  • Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, President, National Patient Safety Foundation

Wednesday, March 12 | 2:00–3:00 pm ET
Diagnostic Safety in an EHR-Enabled Health Care System


  • Gordon D. Schiff, MD, Associate Director, Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, Chief, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program, Houston VA Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, and Baylor College of Medicine
  • Mark L. Graber, MD, FACP, Senior Fellow, RTI International, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine; Founder and President, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)

Wednesday, March 26 | 2:00–3:00 pm ET
How to Do a Root Cause Analysis of Diagnostic Error


  • Mark L. Graber, MD, FACP, Senior Fellow, RTI International; Professor Emeritus, SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine; Founder and President, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
  • James B. Reilly, MD, MS, FACP, Associate Director, Internal Medicine Residency, Allegheny General Hospital – West Penn Hospital Educational Consortium; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine
  • Robert L. Trowbridge, MD, FACP, Division Director, General Internal Medicine, Maine Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

These webcasts are being offered free of charge, but registration is required. Details about the presentations and how to register are available at

"We will never achieve the quality of health care we want or deserve until the problem of diagnostic error is addressed," says Mark L. Graber, MD, founder and president of SIDM and senior fellow at RTI International. "Physicians have options they can use to improve the diagnostic process, but this is not just the physician's problem to solve. Patients, other health care providers, and health care organizations can also help prevent diagnostic errors. Patient Safety Awareness Week will have achieved its goal if it increases awareness of the problem and the many opportunities available to prevent diagnostic errors and harm."

NPSF gratefully acknowledges the contributions of SIDM, the Cautious Patient Foundation, and the following organizations that shared resources for this year’s campaign: The Joint Commission, Kaiser Permanente, BMJ Quality & Safety, Choosing Wisely, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, and CRICO.

NPSF also offers a range of educational and promotional materials, such as posters, tent cards, and buttons that health care providers may acquire to augment their activities. Check the NPSF website for complete details of Patient Safety Awareness Week activities, resources, and tools.

About National Patient Safety Foundation

The National Patient Safety Foundation’s vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), founded in 2011, is a non-profit organization of patients, clinicians, researchers, educators, insurers and healthcare professionals committed to encouraging research, promoting education and building awareness of diagnostic errors. SIDM’s ultimate goal is to reduce misdiagnosis-related harm and ensuring that diagnosis is timely, accurate, reliable, efficient and safe. Learn more at

About the Cautious Patient Foundation

The Cautious Patient Foundation was organized by Carolyn Oliver, MD, JD, as an arm of her non-profit, Patient Always First. The Foundation’s goal is to inform people of quality problems and pitfalls in the healthcare system; to teach patients how to find the information they need; and to coach them to interact with the system effectively to ensure quality treatment. The ultimate aim is to encourage patients to participate in their healthcare in order to reduce the many injuries that misdiagnosed and mismanaged care causes. The system is too big and busy to give best results for each patient—you have to participate to get best results!

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Patricia McTiernan
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