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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 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), which together have been improving and promoting transportation safety in the United States for more than 25 years.

A proposed independent federal agency, the National Patient Safety Board (NPSB), would model the NTSB and CAST within health care. The NPSB would support existing agencies in monitoring and anticipating adverse events with artificial intelligence, conduct studies, create recommendations and solutions to prevent medical error, 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.

In early 2021, a growing coalition of leading healthcare organizations and experts began to advance and call for the creation of the NPSB.  For more information, please visit

We invite you to Get On Board with us today.