The 1999 Institute of Medicine report To Err is Human set off a wave of efforts to reduce errors and increase patient safety around the nation. In Washington state, the leaders of this effort have included Diane Cecchettini, president and CEO of MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, who in 2005 helped to launch the Patient Safety Program at Washington State Hospital Association.
The statewide effort called Safe Table Learning Collaboratives joined together all 97 community hospitals in Washington state to share best practices in improving care. “Statewide collaboration in patient safety was new,” wrote Cecchettini and two co-authors in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety in May 2011. “Hospitals are often competitors—for patients, physicians, nurses and financing. Washington hospitals recognized the need to set competition aside and help one another achieve high-quality, safe care.”