Karen Wolk Feinstein Provides Testimony to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in Support of a National Patient Safety Board

Jewish Healthcare Foundation President and CEO Dr. Karen Wolk Feinstein provided testimony September 21 to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on the foundation's support for the establishment of a National Patient Safety Board (NPSB).

PCAST is the sole body of advisors from outside of the federal government appointed by President Biden and charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the White House, cabinet departments, and other federal agencies. PCAST co-chairs are Frances Arnold, PhD; Francis Collins, MD, PhD; and Maria Zuber, PhD.

The virtual meeting provided a forum to discuss opportunities to improve patient safety, advance the U.S. innovation ecosystem, and create innovation hubs through implementation of the CHIPS & Science Act.

During the Public Comment segment, Dr. Feinstein called for the establishment of an NPSB to identify and anticipate major sources of harm and to recommend solutions, including autonomous technologies, to prevent errors before they can occur. She noted that the current responsibility for patient safety in the U.S. fragmented, with many federal agencies having some role but none having full oversight. Dr. Feinstein also seized the opportunity to tout the Pittsburgh region as a hub for patient safety technology—a concept that was referenced multiple times during the meeting.

In early 2021, a growing coalition of leading healthcare organizations and experts began to advance and call for the creation of an NPSB, with over 70 coalition members currently on board with the NPSB.

Dr. Collins noted that Dr. Feinstein's recommendation for an NPSB "comes at an excellent time" as the Patient Safety Working Group is actively discussing recommendations for the President to improve safety in health care.

A recording of the White House Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is available here.

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