Following the original Institute of Medicine Report in 1999 (IOM Report 1999), the situation five years later was improved yet still dismal. The Leapfrog program (2012 Report) paved the way for a hospital scoring report on the way to further reduce errors. Findings from a study released in 2010 by the Society of Actuaries indicate that measurable medical errors cost the US economy $19.5 billion in 2008, such that of the approximately $80 billion in cost related to medical injuries, 25% were the result of preventable medical errors.  Key findings from the study include:

  • There were 6.3 million measurable medical injuries in the US in 2008; of the 6.3 million injuries, approximately 1.5 million were associated with a medical error

  • The average total cost per error was approximately $13,000

  • In an inpatient setting, 7% of admissions are estimated to result in some type of injury

  • The measurable medical errors resulted in more than 2,500 avoidable deaths and more than 10 million excess days missed from work due to short-term disability

However, current strategies, while improving the situation, are conceptually falling short of reaching the goal. The systematic patient information delivery and patient empowerment requires a more radical conceptual approach of changing the role distribution between healthcare provider and patient to consultant (healthcare provider) and empowered decision-maker (Patient). If the relationship and communication between healthcare providers and patients could be improved by the use of the principles of Relational Medicine Theory, with the core concept of the RelationalAct (Raia & Deng 2014), 

  1. patient preferences would be taken more seriously and satisfaction with health care providers could be greatly enhanced, 
  2. higher quality care with improved outcomes would be delivered to the entire patient population, and
  3. the reduction in medical errors and the subsequent human and monetary benefits could be staggering and, thus, 
  4. cost-effectiveness in the entire health system would be enhanced. It is this opportunity that our foundation, as a catalyst, is addressing and for which we request support to organize, in close interaction and collaboration with UCLA.