In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) USA, released To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. This was a watershed report that caused tremendous public attention to the crisis of patient safety in the United States. In 2001, IOM published a further report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. This report provided a more detailed examination of the immense divide between what we know to be good health care and the health care that people actually receive.
The report calls the divide not just a gap but a chasm and highlighted the need for whole system changes to occur for patient safety to improve.
Six areas or universal dimensions for improvement were identified and have since become known as the six aims of quality improvement in healthcare. Care should be:
- Patient-centred - 'nothing about me without me'
- Institute of Medicine (IOM). 2000. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. L. T. Kohn, J. M. Corrigan, and M. S. Donaldson, eds. Washington, D.C: Natonal Academy Press.
- Institute of Medicine (IOM). 2001. Crossing the Quality Chasm. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.
- Across the Chasm: Six Aims for Changing the Health Care System Institute of Healthcare Improvement