Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project hosts a national gathering of patient safety activists from across the country to connect face-to-face, share information and strategize on future work together. This year November 11-13, we held our 9th summit in Yonkers, NY, headquarters of Consumer Reports.

Some of the highlights this year include:

  • A conversation with Art Levin, Director of Center for Medical Consumers based in New York City. Art was the only consumer member to serve on the Institute of Medicine committee which issued the landmark report on medical errors, “To Err Is Human.”
  • Ten Activist-led presentations on topics including taking on the drug industry lobby, patient-centered care, C.diff, ending gag clauses, and a case study on how nurses responded to the Ebola outbreak.
  • Skill-building workshops on fundraising, advocating for change at the medical board, social media, and more.

Medical errors in hospitals account for 440,000 deaths, according to a 2013 estimate by John James, PhD, a member of the Safe Patient Project network. Millions more are injured by medical harm and survive.

The landscape of patient safety has significantly changed over the past ten years, largely due to the collective work of our group. But there is still so much work to be done and that’s why we treasure the time that we join together to incubate new ideas and develop new strategies that will make our work more impactful than ever. For the sake of patients and their families, we are thankful that this Network exists!

Activists shared their experience at the summit on social media: