The National Action Alliance To Advance Patient Safety
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has established the National Action Alliance to Advance Patient Safety as a public-private collaboration to improve both patient and workforce safety. The National Action Alliance is a partnership between HHS and its Federal agencies and private stakeholders, including healthcare systems, clinicians, allied health professionals, patients, families, caregivers, professional societies, patient and workforce safety advocates, the digital healthcare sector, health services researchers, employers, and payors interested in recommitting our Nation to advancing patient and workforce safety to move toward zero harm in healthcare.
As HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra noted during the November 14, 2022, HHS Convening to Advance Safety: Planning for the Launch of the National Action Alliance, "We believe the Action Alliance gives us the best chance to make sure HHS is using all of its tools to work with stakeholders most effectively because we believe we can give people a sense that, when they walk through the doors of that medical service facility, doctor's office, hospital, urgent care center, that they’re going to walk out in better health."
The National Action Alliance is a voluntary learning community intended to support improvements across healthcare delivery settings (e.g., hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory care settings, home care) and within all types of healthcare systems, including public, not-for-profit, and for-profit health systems; rural, suburban, and urban systems; and systems focused on caring for diverse populations. Recognizing that healthcare is not safe until it is safe for all, the National Action Alliance will work to address issues of equity in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, and healthcare access, as it strives to advance patient and workforce safety. HHS recognizes that health systems and healthcare professionals share an abiding commitment to advancing patient and workforce safety.
The learning of the National Action Alliance will build upon recognized frameworks such as Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety with its four foundational areas of culture, leadership, and governance; patient and family engagement; workforce safety; and creation of learning health systems.
HHS recognizes that now is the right time to recommit to advancing patient safety. Progress in safety has been challenged in recent years, by a variety of factors, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic that revealed weaknesses and inequities in the healthcare delivery system. As health systems emerge from the pandemic, their efforts to recover and improve patient care will face competing priorities, including improving equity, addressing staffing shortages, caring for people with Long COVID, harnessing the potential of telehealth and data sciences, responding to climate change, expanding access to behavioral healthcare, and supporting workers' well-being. Addressing all of these challenges rests on a foundation of patient and workforce safety that requires system solutions.
To identify and advance Action Alliance priorities, stakeholders were invited to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) on Creating a National Healthcare System Action Alliance To Advance Patient Safety. HHS is reviewing the nearly 100 responses received during this public comment period (December 7, 2022 through January 26, 2023) and intends to use the information to inform the structure and initial focus of the National Action Alliance.
AHRQ has hosted informational webinars on behalf of the National Action Alliance and plans additional webinars over the coming months.
Action Alliance Background Materials
- Transcript of the National Action Alliance Listening Session (PDF, 327 KB)
- Transcript of the Questions and Answers Following the Listening Session (PDF, 186 KB)
- Link to the video of the HHS Convening to Advance Patient Safety (1:40:54)
- Links to video starting points of key speakers at the Patient Safety Listening Session:
- Xavier Becerra, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Armando Nahum, Patients for Patient Safety U.S.
- Transcript Remarks by Armando Nahum (PDF, 115 KB)
- Robert Otto Valdez, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Debra Houry, Acting Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Slides HHS Patient Safety Convening (PDF, 591 KB)
- Transcript Remarks by CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Debra Houry (PDF, 112 KB)
- Jonathan Blum, Principal Deputy Administrator & Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Slides Commitment to Patient/Workforce Safety (PDF, 312 KB)
- Transcript Remarks by CMS Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Blum (PDF, 108 KB)
- Robert Califf, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Food and Drug Administration
Select HHS Safety Resources
Visit Patient Safety and Quality Improvement website for information about AHRQ's work in safety, including toolkits, reports, funding opportunities and more materials to improve diagnostic decisions, infection control, training clinical teams, avoiding adverse drug events, and other timely topics.
Additional resources are available on specific safety-related topics:
Visit the CDC website for resources on safety-related topics: