How aviation can make health care patients safer

At the turn of the century, the Institute of Medicine released a report estimating that up to 100,000 patients a year die of medical errors in the United States. These staggering numbers caught the attention of providers, payers and policy-makers, and resulted in a movement aimed at reducing medical errors. In the quest to make patient-care safer, the healthcare industry has taken inspiration from aviation. The aviation industry has had a great deal of success in improving air travel safety over the course of the last 20 years. Thanks to a number of initiatives, the rate of fatal accidents on domestic airlines in the United States decreased by two thirds between 1987 and 2006.