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In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released the report; To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. An often-quoted statistic from that report is that 44,000 – 98,000 individuals die every year related to medical errors. No doubt, you have probably seen the dramatic, and sometimes tragic stories surrounding medical errors in the news and magazines. Nothing touches us the way an individual’s story makes real the people behind the statistics. Although there are some who argue about the numbers, the fact is it highlighted the need for action to improve the safety of healthcare.

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) described a “quality chasm” that exists within today’s health care system. The IOM called for health care to focus on six quality aims: patient safety, patient-centeredness, efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, and equity. We at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System are committed to achieving these aims. These goals were used in the planning and design of our new operating room suites and the new patient care towers currently under construction.

However, we believe we cannot do this alone but need to partner with you, our patients. Educated consumers, who feel free to question and participate in their care, are critical to a safe environment. In this section, you will find information on work we are doing, and also resources for you.