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Commentary |

Improving Patient Safety by Taking Systems Seriously

Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MBA, MPH; Sara J. Singer, PhD, MBA
JAMA. 2008;299(4):445-447. doi:10.1001/jama.299.4.445.
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Patient safety has been a priority in health care since Hippocrates admonished physicians to “first do no harm.” Even so, the Institute of Medicine found in 2000 that approximately 98 000 patients die from preventable medical errors each year.1 Recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates project that 270 individuals die each day from hospital-acquired infections.2 Despite substantial efforts and investments, widespread and substantial improvement is not evident.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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