A leadership message in celebration of National Patient Safety Awareness Week

March 11, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Dear colleagues,

It is National Patient Safety Awareness Week, a time to engage health care providers, patients, and their families in conversations about safety and its critical role in health care delivery. Although patient safety is important year-round, Patient Safety Week is an additional opportunity to talk with your colleagues, patients and their families about patient safety and why it is our top priority.

This year’s celebration takes on new meaning as we begin our journey to high reliability and focus on building a robust patient safety culture across our organization. Over the next three years, the Office of Patient Safety will be spearheading this work with our consultant partners, Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI). In a series of recent town halls, Laura Lamps, M.D., provided the latest updates on this work. If you were unable to attend one of these sessions, you can find a video of the presentation and the slide deck on the Quality Department website.

All faculty and staff are also invited to join us this week for a special screening of “To Err is Human,” an in-depth documentary that examines medical mistakes in the United States. As the third leading cause of death in this country, medical mistakes lead to as many as 440,000 preventable deaths each year. Through interviews with leaders in health care, footage of real-world efforts leading to safer care, and one family’s compelling journey from tragedy to triumph, the film provides a unique look at health care delivery in the U.S., and the ongoing fight against preventable harm. We will be screening the movie three times during the week:

  • Monday, March 11: 2 p.m. in Ford Auditorium
  • Wednesday, March 13: 2:30 p.m. in NCRC Research Auditorium
  • Friday, March 15:  8:30 a.m. in Ford Auditorium

We encourage you to participate in the events planned across the health system during Patient Safety Awareness Week, and show your support for all of our patient safety efforts. Please share this message with your staff and colleagues and encourage them to join in the celebrations.


David A. Spahlinger, M.D., president, U-M Health System, executive vice dean for clinical affairs, U-M Medical School

Laura Lamps, M.D., patient safety officer