Building a safer health care system has been a national priority for the past several years. Studies have shown that thousands of people die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. Such errors are very costly, both in terms of human lives and a loss of trust in the health care system. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” which raised awareness of the prevalence of medical errors and outlined a national strategy for reducing such preventable mistakes. This shared goal is the foundation of our culture of safety at Boulder Community Hospital.
Our #1 priority is to deliver high-quality patient care in a safe environment. We have addressed and continue to address many patient safety and evidence-based care issues in response to requirements of the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid) and the Joint Commission (an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States). We also participate in voluntary improvement programs, such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 5 Million Lives Campaign.