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Institute of Medicine

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Dr. Charlene Harrington is a professor emerita of sociology and nursing in the department of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the faculty in 1980. Her major interest is in nursing home quality and regulation, developed after she served as the director of the California Division of Licensing and Certification in 1975. She served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Nursing Home Regulation, whose 1986 report led to the passage of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Dr.

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Brian D. Smedley, Ph. D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He oversees all operations of the institute, which explores disparities in health and makes recommendations on how to resolve these concerns. Mr. Smedley was formerly the research director and co-founder for The Opportunity Agenda, a communication, research and advocacy organization.

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Dr. Bernard Lo is a professor of medicine and director of the program in medical ethics at the University of Californa, San Francisco. He is national program director for the Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) council. He serves on the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee at National Institutes of Health, which reviews gene transfer protocols. From 1996 to 2001, he served as a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Committee.

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Dr. Alan Garber is the founding director of both the Center for Health Policy (CHP) and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR) at Stanford University, where he is the Henry J. Kaiser Jr. Professor; a professor of medicine; and professor, by courtesy, of economics and of health research and policy. His research focuses on methods for improving health care delivery and financing, particularly for the elderly, in settings of limited resources.

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Whether they involve wrong-site surgeries, poor physician handwriting or prescription dose miscalculations, medical errors are rampant in America’s health care system. Following up on its landmark 1999 study,“To Err is Human,” the Institute of Medicine in 2006 found that a hospital patient is the victim of a medical error every single day he or she is hospitalized.

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