Medical errors are the third cause of death in US hospitals after heart disease and cancer, claiming one life every 2 min. In a Mayo Clinic study with the American College of Surgeons, 8.9% of surgeons reported committing an error in the preceding 3 months and 1.5% of them believed that the error resulted in a patient's death. Furthermore, at least 400 million people worldwide lack essential medical services, including 20 million children in the US.
On the other hand, healthcare expenditures are growing exponentially, putting financial burden even on affluent societies, and threatening a potential collapse of the healthcare system. Interestingly, the magnitude of spending on healthcare does not always assure better outcomes for the population. For example, what the US spends on health almost doubles the amount of other developed countries, and yet, it does not fare better on many parameters, such as life expectancy, obesity rates, and infant mortality.
In a nutshell, we are spending large sums of money in healthcare systems that may not be sustainable, and on top of that, we are harming groups of people who we are supposed to be helping and leaving millions without access to the basic services.
The picture seems oblique; however, there are emerging experiences on local, regional, and country levels from which others can learn a great deal.
To close the gaps in healthcare and improve patient outcomes, consorted efforts of all stakeholders should be pursued, including governmental and societal entities, healthcare professionals, and the public.
The vision for the Global Journal on Quality and Safety in Healthcare (JQSH) is to help improve healthcare systems and patient outcomes by serving as a platform for researchers to share best practices and experiences at a global level, educate professionals in the healthcare delivery sciences, and increase awareness of readers about this rapidly evolving field. We hope to enlist as many individuals as possible in the movement to serve the right person, in the right way, at the right time, within the right settings. This is the embodiment of value-driven healthcare that JQSH aims to represent and advance.
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Conflicts of interest
The author disclosed no conflicts of interest.