Even though medical harm is prevalent nationwide, experts and advocates struggle to increase awareness about patient safety risks and spark support for effective solutions. The Betsy Lehman Center is partnering with– a D.C.-based nonprofit that uses research to shape public discourse on social and scientific issues – to change how people think and talk about this important public health issue.
There is a noticeable gap between the way experts think about how best to improve the safety of health care and the understanding of the general public – and many health care professionals - about the challenges and solutions to the problem of medical error across the country.
People have difficulty understanding patient safety challenges because of the way they think about medicine – including human error, the role of systems in health outcomes and decision-making. These commonly-held assumptions lead to a consistent underestimation of the problem of safety, impede public engagement with large scale solutions, and ultimately inhibit improvements in patient safety.
General media stories about the topic can be skewed by an overemphasis on malpractice claims stories and under-representation of complete stories that include discussion of:
Organizations devoted to improving patient safety need a new approach to communicating about the topic to create a wider constituency for accelerating investment in and progress toward a health care system that doesn’t put patients at risk of harm when seeking medical treatment.
FrameWorks Institutes’ research methods for improving communication about complex, important public topics are both unique and effective. Hear FrameWorks’ CEO Nat Kendall-Taylor talk about how this research can improve public discourse.