For the People, By the People


We envision a future where all patients and health workers are free from harm caused by our healthcare system


Our mission is to raise awareness about patient and health worker safety by educating and mobilizing people across the world to stand up for safe care.

Show We All Care

Patient safety focuses on implementing proven processes and improving the safe care received to eliminate preventable harm and unnecessary deaths.

Our healthcare system globally isn’t safe because the system is broken, not the people delivering care.

Most of the errors made are preventable and are due to system failures, not people who don’t intend to provide safe care.

So it’s important to Unite for Safe Care to show that we all stand in solidarity for safe care for all.

We will unite, hand in hand, with patients, family members, friends, nurses and doctors, other caregivers, concerned citizens, and future patients and caregivers who expect safe care.

Who is Organizing this Campaign?

The #uniteforsafecare campaign is funded and organized by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. The PSMF identifies co-conveners (no financial support), organizations who support the campaign, called “supporters,” and sponsors to help put on the event each year.

In 2020 and 2021 the event was co-convened by the Leapfrog Group. ISQua and the ASA co-convened in 2020. Click here to see a list of sponsors and supporters from 2021.

  1. 1850s

    Florence Nightingale is the first to use charts and graphs to show the relationship between hygiene and patient outcomes during the Crimean War.

  2. 1900-1949

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) developed the first set of hospital standards, which was one page long, and began on-site inspections.

  3. 1950-1989

    The American College of Surgery and several other physician groups joined to become the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH). The name changed later to JCAHO as the focus became on outpatient settings and is now known as TJC, or The Joint Commission.

    The US government institutes the Medicare program to insure those over 65 or with chronic conditions. Medicaid, a similar program run by states for low-income populations, begins a year later.

    The Institute of Medicine (IoM) was founded under the National Academy of Sciences to address the concerns of medicine and healthcare. The IoM has now been renamed the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

    The concept of Quality Improvement is more widely introduced in healthcare by Donabedian and others. Diagnostic-Related Groups (DRGs) are instituted in the U.S., which reduces payment to hospitals from Medicare.

    Walt Bogdanich in his Great White Lie book exposed many of the failings of our healthcare system that lead to preventable deaths, even care providers’.

  4. 1990s

    Care begins to move out of the hospital and into outpatient settings. Hospital revenue is significantly impacted by DRGs. Nurses are replaced with unlicensed personnel and education programs are cut.

    The Institute for Healthcare Improvement was founded.

  5. Nov + Dec 1999

    November 1999
    The Institute of Medicine’s “To Err is Human Report” was published and made the front page of the New York Times revealing that an estimated 44,000 to 98,000 Americans were dying in hospitals due to medical errors.

    December 1999
    In response to IOM’s report, Congress passed legislation mandating that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issue annual reports outlining the progress in safer care. Just 60 days after “To Err is Human” was released, AHRQ released “Doing What Counts for Patient Safety”, which outlined strategies to mitigate medical errors.

  6. 2001

    Josie King passes away due to Sepsis at world-renowned The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    In response to Josie King’s passing, John Hopkins intensive care specialist, Dr. Peter Pronovost, who cared for Josie King, developed a 5-item checklist to reduce central line infections and the infection rate within Johns Hopkins decreased from 11% to 0%.

  7. 2003

    The U.S. government introduces “Core Measures” requirements for U.S. hospitals: the first publicly reported patient outcome data.

    The Joint Commission introduced the “National Patient Safety Goals” program which articulates steps for reducing medical error and is updated on an annual basis.

  8. 2004

    Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched its campaign, titled 100,000 Lives Campaign, to significantly reduced preventable deaths over 18 months. From this initiative, IHI reported 122,000 fewer preventable deaths.

  9. 2006

    The HCAHPS survey (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) for American hospitals was introduced as the relationship between patient satisfaction and patient safety became evident.

  10. 2007

    World Health Organization (WHO) launches its first patient safety campaign entitled “Safe Surgery Saves Lives”, aiming to bring together surgical leaders around the world to focus on key topics such as Surgical Site Infection (SSIs), safe anesthesia, and surgical metrics. During this time, the WHO and a team of Harvard scientists developed the “Safe Surgery Checklist” which was broadly distributed and implemented worldwide.

    Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) spearheaded a project aimed at reducing MRSA infections, specifically aimed at prevention and contact with patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted a ⅔ decrease in the amount of MRSA infections in VA hospitals from 2005-2017.

  11. 2008

    The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) created the Integrating Quality Initiative which focused on emphasizing patient safety in its medical schools and teaching hospitals’ curriculum.

  12. Early 2010

    Boston Children’s Hospital launched the I-PASS project to mitigate hand-off communication errors.

  13. Late 2010

    Partnership for Patients, a subgroup in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was created with the mission to reduce Healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs), adverse drug events, and pressure ulcers.

  14. 2011

    AHRQ created “National Scorecards for Hospital-acquired Conditions”.

    The Joint Commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare conducted an interdisciplinary, 18-month effort to reduce falls and saw a 62% reduction in fall-related injuries in hospitals.

  15. 2012

    Patient Safety Movement Foundation is founded to bring all stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem together to work on this global challenge together. The bold mission established was ZERO preventable deaths by 2020.

  16. 2013

    Ten year anniversary of the National Health Service’s (NHS’s) National Reporting and Learning System, which was established to aggregate incident data.

  17. August 2014

    Patient Safety Collaboratives program was established in the NHS.

  18. 2014

    John James publishes a new report based upon data from 2008 – 2011, which, unlike the 1999 IOM study, included errors related to missed care and poor communication. This new report estimates that between 250,000 and 400,000 people die each year due to medical error.

  19. 2018

    “In September 2018, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced there would be a new patient safety strategy, stating that “every patient – whether in hospital, at home, in a General Practitioner (GP) surgery – expects compassionate, effective and safe care.”

  20. 2019

    In May of 2019 the World Health Assembly votes and establishes World Patient Safety Day which will be celebrated each year on September 17th.

  21. 2020

    The Patient Safety Movement Foundation officially launched the #uniteforsafecare campaign.

  22. September 2020

    On World Patient Safety Day, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation hosted a virtual event to honor the 200,000+ lives lost every year due to medical harm. Over 50 speakers shared their heart-wrenching and heroic stories of survival and loss as well as their professional and personal experiences that will help educate and inspire you to #uniteforsafecare

  23. September 2021

    15 passionate patient safety advocates – patients, families and health workers – gathered at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC just before 10am local time to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol building to bring awareness to patient safety. We kept the gathering small due to the pandemic and practiced safe distancing and masking along the way.

    #uniteforsafecare virtual event

    The 2nd annual event brought the world together again to unite for safe care, bringing fresh perspectives and new topics to light about how we can exit this pandemic ready to unite for safe care!

Take Action

Millions of people are dying unnecessarily from unsafe health care due to preventable causes. This could be your sibling, parent, child, your neighbor, or you. Choosing to ignore this epidemic or staying silent perpetuates the issue.

Our #uniteforsafecare campaign was created to raise awareness and save lives.

Millions are dying