Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical error was the third leading cause of death in the United States, with conservative estimates of more than 250,000 patients dying annually from preventable medical harm and costs of more than $17 billion to the U.S. healthcare system. Recent data have shown that patient safety worsened during the pandemic. We have seen many valiant efforts to reduce the problem of preventable medical error, but most of these have been focused on the actions of the frontline workforce. This reliance on individuals is part of why efforts to sustain, spread, or standardize progress have been unsuccessful. The healthcare workforce is in crisis, and healthcare safety is suffering.

Other industries have seen dramatic improvements in safety. The aviation industry has had a stellar safety record thanks to the work of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which together have been improving and promoting transportation safety in the United States for more than 25 years.

A proposed independent federal board housed within the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Patient Safety Board (NPSB), would model the efforts of CAST and NTSB within health care. The NPSB, with its nonpunitive, multidisciplinary Research and Development Team, would complement existing agencies in monitoring and anticipating patient safety events with artificial intelligence, provide expertise to study the causes of errors, create recommendations and solutions to prevent future harms, and leverage existing systems to bring key learnings into practice. The NPSB would guarantee a data-driven, scalable approach to preventing and reducing patient safety events in healthcare settings—and will save lives.

Learn more in the NPSB Summary and National Patient Safety Board – What It Is and Isn’t

In early 2021, a growing coalition of leading healthcare organizations and experts began to advance and call for the creation of the NPSB. The following organizations are on board with the NPSB.

We invite you to Get On Board with us today.

NPSB Advocacy Coalition Members