April 9, 2018By Lance Baily

New Documentary ‘To Err is Human’ Continues a Legacy of Improving Patient Safety to Reduce Medical Errors

To Err is Human is a new documentary focusing on the issue of preventable medical errors and the Patient Safety help Healthcare needs. Medical mistakes lead to as many as 440,000 preventable deaths every year. “To Err Is Human” is an in-depth documentary about this silent epidemic and those working quietly behind the scenes to create a new age of patient safety. Through interviews with leaders in healthcare, footage of real-world efforts leading to safer care, and one family’s compelling journey from victim to empowerment, the film provides a unique look at our healthcare system’s ongoing fight against preventable harm. Watch the trailer below and *UPDATE*, you can now buy To Err is Human through Amazon now!

This topic in particular holds a personal connection to the film’s director Mike Eisenberg as the son of patient safety pioneer, the late Dr. John M. Eisenberg. Before he passed away in 2002, John’s work in this field led to a national discussion on medical mistakes and he was the driving force behind federal efforts to improve patient safety. Through this film, the team hopes to carry on Dr. Eisenberg’s legacy by providing a productive look at healthcare quality today and how we can do better, rather than presenting a “gotcha” documentary. Those who work in healthcare today want to help patients, but sometimes the system is designed in a way that prevents them from doing just that.

Interview subjects so far have included Carolyn Clancy, MD, John Eisenberg’s successor at AHRQ who is now with the Veterans Health Administration. Also interviewed is Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, formerly of AHRQ and the current chief scientific officer of the National Quality Forum and Paul Goldberg, editor and publisher of The Cancer Letter. The team also has interviewed Richard Kronick, PhD, AHRQ’s current director — as well as countless others who provide much needed insight into this arena.


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The film was made possible with grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, NIHCM Foundation, DCG Communications, and Indiegogo Funders.

While access to care is a vital flashpoint in America right now, it is equally important to ensure the quality of that care is improving, and not actually causing unnecessary harm or death. The documentary focuses on the idea of a new culture of safety in medicine through the efforts of a select few who believe the system can improve by first acknowledging its imperfections. *UPDATE*, you can now buy To Err is Human through Amazon now!

Visit To Err is Human’s Website to See Where the Next Screening is Near You!


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