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Preliminary Summary

Patient Safety at the Clinical Interface

Holiday Inn O'Hare International, Rosemont, Illinois
Thursday, November 30, 2000 (8:00 am - 4:30 pm)

Background Information

In response to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, the Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force (QuIC) endorsed the IOM’s recommendation for making a national priority of enhancing the existing knowledge base in the area of patient safety. In particular, the QuIC called for a National Summit on Medical Errors and Patient Safety Research, which was held in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2000, to begin the process of setting a national research agenda.

During the National Summit, which had representation from diverse interest groups (e.g., consumers, state and local policymakers, purchasers, health care professionals, and researchers), the QuIC and other patient safety funding organizations heard from the users of patient safety research about their pressing needs and the specific research questions related to those needs. To ensure that the users’ input led to a coordinated private–public action plan by funders of patient safety research, representatives from 14 public- and private-sector organizations that fund patient safety research were asked review the input from the users. After the review, the representatives met to develop an integrated, coordinated, user-driven, patient-focused, system-based patient safety research agenda. Given the extent of both the users’ comments as well as of the patient safety field, the current Preliminary Research Agenda is rather broad in scope. Future discussions and meetings, such as "Patient Safety at the Clinical Interface," have been scheduled to provide more detail for the current research framework.

"Patient Safety at the Clinical Interface" was designed:

  • To obtain feedback concerning the Preliminary Research Agenda produced from the National Summit.
  • To articulate in greater depth some of the key issues that clinicians want to have researched so that they can improve patient safety.
  • To explore the role of the professional societies in reducing errors.
  • To discuss means by which to address various implementation issues.

To reach those stated objectives, the basic format for the meeting involved two different sets of breakout sessions—with a focus on research topics as well as implementation issues—and a working lunch focused on the patient/consumer research agenda. In each of the breakout sessions, a member from one of the 14 funders of patient safety research at the National Summit served as a moderator while two other individuals with differing viewpoints served to catalyze the discussion.

In an effort to capture the meeting discussion, a preliminary summary of the meeting is currently available (Word® file, 139 KB). Comments and suggestions about this summary may be submitted to Shana Christrup, (301) 594-6673 ( until January 2, 2001. After that time, the AHRQ staff will be working to finalize the summary and to produce a meeting monograph.

Printed copies of the final summary will be available at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Clearinghouse in mid-January 2001. To request a copy of the summary, please call the Clearinghouse's toll-free number 800-358-9295 or write to AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547. Callers outside of the United States may dial (410) 381-3150. TDD service is available for hearing-impaired people; call 888-586-6340.

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