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15 Years as a PSO. Decades Improving Safety.
Patient Safety

15 Years as a PSO. Decades Improving Safety.

This year, ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices PSO celebrates our 15th anniversary as an AHRQ-listed Patient Safety Organization. Over this decade and a half, we have worked tirelessly to build and maintain the trust and reputation that confirms ECRI and ISMP’s deep roots in safety . In our 15 years as a PSO, we have collected close to 6.5 million safety events, including over 4.4 million adverse events (events that reached the patient and caused a degree of harm), 880,000 near misses (an adverse event was averted), and 1.2 million reports of unsafe conditions (events that could have led to patient harm). Behind those numbers are the stories of people: moms and dads, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors, who have been unintentionally harmed in our health systems. However, there are also stories of brave healthcare team members who recognized the risk for harm and had the courage to speak up for safety, intervene, and catch that near miss before the patient was harmed. With our immense database of safety events comes a great responsibility to learn from these stories and understand the failures in our healthcare systems that lead to harm.  The learning and action that result from these events is how we will demonstrate our constancy of purpose for improving patient safety. 

As a PSO, we are proud to say that every day, we work to nurture the relationships with individuals within our member organizations, who are at the heart of their safety, risk, and quality teams. During this milestone year, we asked our members to define the value that ECRI and the ISMP PSO membership brings them. Overwhelmingly, they said the value proposition is to make patient care safer, build a reputation for safety, support their clinical and safety workforce, and improve outcomes and value of care. 

There has been a growing call for renewed action and transformation around eliminating preventable harm. ECRI and ISMP PSO, along with 26 other organizations, contributed to the National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety, calling for a total systems approach to redesign the complex system in which healthcare is delivered. In late 2023, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology released bold recommendations in the Report to the President calling for a transformational effort on patient safety. As a PSO, we commit to serving healthcare providers in their journey to redesign systems to eliminate preventable harm. 

Now, as we look toward the next phase of transforming safety, total systems safety is the path forward. This path is built with a more holistic methodology anchored in system design, human factors engineering, health equity, and advanced safety science. This path will not be easy. It will require critical focus not only on innovation, but also on collaboration and adoption. Positive change is successful only if it is embraced by leaders, team members, patients, and families.

Thank you to all the leaders in safety, quality, and risk for the time, energy, and dedication that you all put in, every day, to improve safe and effective care. We are proud to partner with you in patient safety.

Join the acute, ambulatory, and senior care leaders who partner with ECRI and the ISMP PSO to drive safety improvement. Learn more.