Do We Need a National Patient Safety Board?

Do We Need a National Patient Safety Board?

Do We Need a National Patient Safety Board? 1200 800 Dan Frith

Not just yes but hell yes!

Are people being harmed and killed by preventable medical negligence? Yes again. The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general found that 10% of hospitalized Medicare patients experienced preventable harm during hospital stays in October of 2018.  I do not know the exact number but it must have been tens of thousands of injured patients from all over the US in one month.  Read the report here.

Hospitals and doctors should learn from tragic mistakes (unnecessary deaths) and find ways to avoid them.  There are two measures underway to create a safety board (like the National Transportation Safety Board).  Representative Nanette Diaz Barragan, a Democrat from California in the House of Representatives filed a proposed bill which would form such a safety board. A related measure in under consideration by the White House and would be created by Executive Order.

I hope either or both avenues are successful in creating a patient safety board.  Americans need and deserve better medical care.  My fear is that corporate medicine (Ballad Health, HCA Healthcare, and in my region Carilion Clinic) will exert their collective influence to make certain any patient safety board doesn’t result in lower profits…patient health and outcome be damned.

About the author

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at

Back to top