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Achieving zero harm from healthcare—new collection comments on 20 years of research

September 3, 2019

Over the past 20 years, has the U.S. made significant progress to improve preventable medical errors? A new special collection of articles in the American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ), published by SAGE Publishing, begins to answer this question by analyzing the impact these articles have had on the medical field.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) published To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, a landmark report that found tens of thousands of deaths occur every year from preventable medical errors and ushered a new era of transparency and accountability. To acknowledge the 20th anniversary of To Err is Human, AJMQ republished and reflected on 11 of their own most downloaded and cited articles from the past 20 years, discussing how each of the articles have directly impacted the safety of health care.    

The collection “highlights key pieces of scholarship that provided guidance to clinical colleagues across the care continuum and tools to reduce error and to reduce harm,” says Editor-in-Chief David B. Nash. While the collection found that the country has made only modest progress towards zero harm, despite many new measures and resources devoted to the issue, “the special issue serves as a call to action for the future and highlights the role of groups like the American College of Medical Quality in achieving our long sought clinical goals.”

AJMQ’s collection assesses how these articles have enabled “strides to improve outcomes, communication, payment systems, teamwork training, leadership, and integration of the health system.” Earlier this year, SAGE announced a new effort to better measure and celebrate research that makes impact beyond the academic community – on policy, practice, and public life. Read a collection of articles from SAGE that have had positive societal impact.

Read the full collection, including “The Gift of Fine China: An Appropriate 20th Anniversary Look Back,” by Erica Li and David Nash in the American Journal of Medical Quality


The American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ) is a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal for those practicing, conducting research, and teaching in the field of clinical quality improvement. AJMQ publishes research studies, evaluations of the delivery and management of health care, and reports on changes in the field of medical quality, utilization, and risk management, clarified with graphs and tables. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Founded in 1973, the American College of Medical Quality (ACMQ) is an organization for health care professionals responsible for providing leadership in quality and safety outcomes, who want or need the tools, experience and expertise to improve the quality and safety of patient care.

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

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