Families USA Webinar Highlights the Patient Safety Crisis, NPSB Legislation

Pictured: Hazel Law, upper left; Sue Sheridan, upper right; Leah Binder, bottom left; Robert Ferguson, bottom right.

National Patient Safety Board (NPSB) Advocacy Coalition member Families USA hosted a webinar on April 4 to highlight the problem of preventable medical harm and how the new bipartisan NPSB legislation is an essential part of the solution.

"First Do No Harm: Addressing the Patient Safety Crisis" examined the impact of medical error on the healthcare industry and patients and the role an NPSB would play in keeping patients safe and alleviating the strains on the healthcare system.

Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group and NPSB Advocacy Coalition member, discussed the national patient safety crisis, highlighting the scope of the problem as well as the costs to health systems, purchasers, and patients. A surgical site infection, for example, costs purchasers a staggering $39,000.

Patient advocate Sue Sheridan, founding member of Patients for Patient Safety US and NPSB Advocacy Coalition member, shared her family's story of medical harm, noting that 800,000 patients experience a diagnostic error that results in permanent harm, disability, or death. This was the case with her son, Cal, who suffered undiagnosed kernicterus when he was born, which resulted in permanent brain damage. Sheridan, who served on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Working Group on Patient Safety, highlighted how an NPSB could have prevented the harms experienced by her family and the need for collective action to move the legislation forward.

Families USA is a leading national, nonpartisan voice for healthcare consumers dedicated to achieving high-quality, affordable health care, and improved health for all.

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