Patient Safety Advocate and PRHI Collaborator Michael Millenson Brings Fresh Approaches to Address Medical Error

Insistent patient safety advocate and President of Health Quality Advisors, LLC, Michael L. Millenson, has been a friend of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI) since its first meeting at Alcoa in 1997. Millenson began his career as a journalist focusing on healthcare issues before winning a fellowship that set him up to focus his work on quality of care. Since then, he's gone on to perform research at Northwestern University, publish an acclaimed book, and consult across the country with his work focused on improving quality and safety and the healthcare delivery system.

Throughout all this time, Millenson has remained an important voice and collaborator with PRHI, consistently emphasizing opportunities to address medical error. In April, the Patient Safety Network published a conversation with Millenson in which he highlighted a strong need for patient safety related journalism, with skilled reporting that not only includes a data-driven approach to appeal to professionals, but a human interest element to evoke public reaction and inspire change. Media coverage is crucial for any action. "Absent that media spotlight, the same facts would have led to the same inaction that had continued for decades," he said.

Millenson also published in May an article pushing for "radical transparency" from hospitals. In the article, Millenson and J. Matthew Allen detail a visual rating system for three Baltimore area hospitals based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs which clearly shows safety standards, if patients are listened to at the facility, and the patient's quality-of-life post-care. 

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