Patient Safety: Making care continually safer by reducing harm and preventable mortality.

Workforce Safety: Ensuring the safety and resiliency of the organization and the health care workforce — a workforce that is physically and psychologically safe, joyful, and thriving — is a necessary precondition to advancing patient safety.

Despite substantial effort over the past 20 years to improve patient safety, preventable harm in health care remains a major concern. Though many evidence-based, effective best practices related to harm reduction have been identified, they are seldom shared and implemented effectively across multiple organizations. In addition, more organizations are recognizing that the safety of the health care workforce is key to patient safety.

Advancing patient and workforce safety requires a total systems approach to safety — a persistent, coordinated effort by all stakeholders to eliminate harm to both patients and the health care workforce.

IHI focuses on innovations that create a total systems approach to safety, helping health care organizations and health systems move from silos of safety to systems of safety by enhancing reliability and resilience, and by working to embed safety into every system and setting within a patient’s care journey with the belief that patients and those who care for them can and should be free from harm.

IHI’s focus on patient and workforce safety includes:

  • Galvanizing health care leaders across the care continuum to advance patient and workforce safety: The National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety provides clear direction that health care leaders, delivery organizations, and associations can use to make significant advances toward safer care and reduced harm across the continuum of care. IHI offers guidance on and support for patient and workforce safety initiatives around the world.
  • Engaging leadership in change: IHI provides strategic guidance and innovative thinking to help leaders at all levels embrace, create, and implement tools and strategies that drive change.
  • Fostering cultures of safety: IHI provides tactical tools and frameworks to assess safety culture, identify areas for improvement, and implement system-wide changes that affect culture.
  • Building skills: IHI offers a range of programs to teach key safety and improvement skills at every level — from students to executives.