People are dying to be asked to make a difference

Those where the words shared by former President Bill Clinton as he helped kick-off the 2015 Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit this past weekend (http://patientsafetymovement.org/). The former president has been a keynote speaker at all three annual Summits and sees the Patient Safety Movement’s mission similar to the Clinton Foundation Global Initiatives Program (GIP).

Working with former President Clinton, Joe Kiani adopted a similar “commitment” model used by Clinton’s collaborative GIP in selecting preventable medical harm and setting a goal of Zero Preventable Deaths by 2020 (0X2020). There has been a lot of great work by many patient safety advocates since the release of the IOM report on preventable medical harm fifteen years ago. The Patient Safety Movement is another example of people wanting to make a difference and help reduce risk in healthcare. We hear “it takes a village” and Joe Kiani continues to bring more people wanting to make a difference into the “safety village”.

joebidenThis year, Joe worked his magic and was also able to bring Vice President Joe Biden into the safety village. The Vice President was wonderful – he spoke passionately and eloquently about the safety crisis. He admitted that two years ago when he agreed to meet with Joe, he knew little about the preventable medical error crisis but quickly changed his 30 minute meeting with Joe into a two-hour tutorial on the issue.  Like many others, he has become an engaged partner and re-arranged his very busy schedule so he could attend, address the crowd and hear about the great work going on by many.

In a short time, the Patient Safety Movement has brought high-ranking “partners” into the safety village, added tremendous value to the mission, and brought significant attention to the great work done by many others over the past fifteen years.

As former President Clinton said, we need to embrace more “people who are dying to be asked to make a difference”. It does take a village…and we need to continue to grow our safety village.

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