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To Do No Harm: Safety as a Professional Obligation

Allan Korn, MD, for HealthLeaders Media, February 9, 2011

Clearly, we need somebody on the care team, a primary care doctor would be the ideal candidate, to take charge of this pharmaceutical alphabet soup and carefully direct a patient’s exposure to drugs -- seeking to maximize the benefit while minimizing the harm. 

The loss of life and damage to health is too great for us to wait. Now is the time to act and make safety the cornerstone of 21 century medical practice.  


Allan Korn, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

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1 comments on "To Do No Harm: Safety as a Professional Obligation"


Rhonda S. Bell, DBA (2/10/2011 at 10:44 AM)
Hi, Allan I admire your plea for safety to be brought back to the forefront of healthcare, especially with a history lesson. The Hippocratic writings have much fundamental value that I think we have lost in healthcare. We have focused on "hi-tech" and lost a great deal of the "hi-touch." Not that I am opposed to technology, many strides have been made to save lives. However, their does need to be a pendulum swing back to "hi-touch" to provide a balance in the safety of care. I would like to go a step further and recommend: "To Do No Harm: Safety as a Heart Obligation." Thank you so much for this article and bringing the safety and confidence in care back to the forefront of healthcare. Also, thank you for your work at BCBS and making this a global effort. Inspired and kind regards, Rhonda