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Hospital patient safety initiatives borrow from transportation industry

Patient safety improvement and medical error prevention programs in U.S. hospitals often take their inspiration from the aviation industry's long-standing efforts to prevent errors and from Toyota Motor Corporation's "lean" production system, with its celebrated "stopping the line" policy, in which anyone working on the auto production line can stop it until an identified quality problem can be fixed. Two explicit examples from Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center and Seattle Children's were described during a panel at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting in Seattle on April 17.

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