When the 1999 report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System was released by the Institute of Medicine, it was the first time the impact and consequences of medical errors were quantified. The report generated a sort of enlightenment that led many like-minded people to form organizations to combat medical errors and hospitals to begin implementing processes to reduce harm. Joe Kiani, Founder, and Chairman of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, floored by the alarming statistic that 98,000 Americans were dying from preventable causes in hospitals, began to ask questions and track what was being done in the United States to reduce these unnecessary deaths.
In November 2010, over a decade later, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report which revealed that the number of Medicare beneficiaries who had experienced an event that contributed to their death had reached 180,000. Kiani realized the problem was not getting better, rather it was growing rapidly. Something needed to be done. Joe continued to hear about countless families, like Rory Staunton and Leah Coufal’s families, who lost their lives under preventable circumstances. These stories helped fuel the mission of ZERO preventable deaths, a bold but necessary goal that the Foundation believes in wholeheartedly because ONE preventable patient death is one too many.
In 2012, tired of inaction and apathy, Kiani had identified an immediate need to bring all stakeholders across the continuum of care together to take action and formed the Patient Safety Movement was founded by the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. Kiani garnered the support of President Bill Clinton while on safari in Africa; Clinton encouraged Kiani to create a dedicated 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to eliminating medical errors and the Patient Safety Movement Foundation was born in 2014. The rest is history…