During the last two decades, I have spent considerable time researching key factors that influence and impact healthcare costs, primarily due to my work with employers who relied on our guidance and strategies to obtain employer-sponsored health coverage.
It was through this work that I increasingly became familiar with the name, Dr. John M. Eisenberg. I would soon learn that Dr. Eisenberg was not only a physician dedicated to his profession, but was highly distinguished throughout his career while advancing evidence-based research in healthcare at the policy, practice and management levels. One of the many accomplishments he had in his short life was serving as director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
Without a doubt, Dr. Eisenberg was a worldwide pioneer on patient-safety issues, as he authored more than 150 articles dedicated to policy and scientific initiatives relating to the safe delivery of quality care that Americans trust they receive. Unfortunately, this passionate man who truly made a dent in our healthcare-related universe, died from a brain tumor in 2002 at the age of 55. Dr. Eisenberg was essentially a rock star within the medical world, as he was highly respected by his peers. In fact, the National Quality Forum (NQF) annually recognizes individuals and organizations that improve patient safety and healthcare quality through the establishment of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. These awards are being presented at NQF’s Annual Conference on April 7-8, 2016, in Washington, DC.
This past February, within a week after the Des Moines Register published their editorial on lethal medical errors – an editorial that was prompted by the release of our Silently Harmed white papers – I received an email from an organization, Tall Tale Productions, located in Chicago. The author of the email, Mike Eisenberg, mentioned he had recently read the DMR article and consequently downloaded one of the Silently Harmed papers. Mike is Dr. Eisenberg’s son.
Mike, inspired by his father’s work, plans to direct a feature documentary on patient safety, tentatively titled, To Err is Human, using the same name from the seminal book released in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine. Expect to find stories of patients and families who were adversely impacted by medical errors, in addition to interviews with patient safety-experts who continue Dr. Eisenberg’s work. Tall Tale Productions is in the final stages of their campaign to raise money to underwrite the cost of this important film. To learn more about how to contribute to this documentary, you can contact Tall Tale Productions.
Seldom do I tout particular causes within my posts, but I made an exception this time. Patient safety is paramount to us all.
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