Patient safety has become critically important to the public, the government, and health care professionals alike. During the last part of the twentieth century, several well-publicized deaths due to safety issues occurred. At the beginning of this century, the Institute of Medicine published the report To Err is Human calling attention to tens of thousands of "unnecessary deaths" due to medical errors which proved to be the tipping point in issues surrounding patient safety.
Cardiothoracic surgeons have long been recognized as leaders in the health care profession. Our dedication to clinical excellence and patient advocacy is well recognized, but even we have had our own share of problems that could have been avoided.
The STS Workforce on Patient Safety has developed this section of www.sts.org a resource for information on patient safety and the most recent advances in the field.
Section Editor: Christopher Mascio, MD
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