Eliminating Preventable Medical Errors May Save Your Loved Ones – Parrish Medical Center

A Boeing-747 crashes in the U.S.; all 550 passengers and crew members perish. The news media breaks into regular programming to announce the fatal accident. Alerts beep on cell phones and online headlines are updated with breaking reports. Now imagine, the same thing happens every day. Air travel grinds to a halt. Government investigations are opened. Citizens demand answers and action.  

This fictional scenario illustrates a startling reality. According to a study published by researchers at Johns Hopkins in 2016, an estimated 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. That’s almost 685 people per day, more than a full 747 aircraft.

These preventable medical errors are defined as those caused by inadequately skilled staff, error in judgment or care, a system defect or a preventable adverse effect. This includes computer breakdowns, mix-ups with the doses or types of medications administered to patients and surgical complications that go undiagnosed. These may also encompass a wide range of preventable causes, such as bed ulcers, hospital-acquired infections, blood clots, falls, surgical errors and misdiagnoses.  

While some healthcare providers debate the actual number of deaths from preventable medical errors, most would agree that greater efforts could be made to reduce its incidence. 

The Patient Safety Movement

Fortunately, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation was formed in 2012 to bring stakeholders across the continuum of healthcare together to take action. The world’s leading clinicians, hospital CEOs, patient advocates and government leaders convened at the first annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in 2013 to identify primary patient safety challenges and to provide tested solutions called Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS). Hospital attendees made formal commitments to implement processes to reduce preventable deaths in their hospitals, and healthcare technology companies signed the Open Data Pledge to share data for the sake of patient safety.

The Patient Safety Movement’s ultimate goal is to get to zero preventable deaths by 2020.

In 2017, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation held its fifth annual summit and announced more than 69,500 lives saved because of commitments made by more than 3,500 partnered hospitals.  

Back Home in Brevard County

Of those 3,500-plus partnered hospitals across the globe, Parrish Medical Center in Titusville was the first hospital to commit to all 13 APSS and to receive the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s 5 Star Hospital rating, recognition as the worldwide leader for patient safety and implementing actionable patient
safety solutions.

“Hospital safety can’t be a slogan, an objective, or a desire; it has to be a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute commitment and practice because lives are literally at stake,” said George Mikitarian, PMC president and CEO. 


The commitment our care partners make to apply each and every actionable patient safety solution comes from the heart and a deep love and respect for our community and our fellow men and women.” – Edwin Lofton


Parrish Chief Nursing Officer Honored at International Safety Summit

Edwin Loftin, senior vice president of Integrated Care and Acute Care Services, and chief nursing officer at Parrish Medical Center, was recently presented with the Steven Moreau Humanitarian Award at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s 6th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in London.

“Edwin first became involved with the Patient Safety Movement in 2016. At the time, Parrish made so many commitments to implement processes that were proven to reduce medical error that our staff believed it was an error,” said Patient Safety Movement Foundation Founder Joe Kiani. “However, when we spoke with Edwin, his response was, ‘Why wouldn’t we make all these commitments?’”

When asked, “Why does Parrish commit to patient safety?” Loftin answered, “That’s easy. Every patient’s life, every person’s life matters. Committing to zero by 2020 is the right thing to do, and like most things worth doing, it isn’t easy; it takes hard work and commitment.”

When asked how Parrish achieves and sustains its impeccable safety record, Loftin said, “The commitment our care partners make to apply each and every actionable patient safety solution comes from the heart and a deep love and respect for our community and our fellow men and women.” 

“With the foresight and leadership of PMC President and CEO George Mikitarian, we set our strategic direction with an emphasis on quality and safety to levels that had not existed before,” he continued. “We set goals based on that plan, and use the talents and skills of our care partners to pursue those goals for the benefit of each patient, family member, and everyone who comes in contact with our hospital and every member of our network.”

How Safe Is Your Hospital?

Visit the following sources to learn more about patient safety and see how Brevard hospitals are rated.

  • 100SafeCareHospitals.com
  • PatientSafetyMovement.org
  • HospitalSafetyGrade.org