Johns Hopkins plans to use a $10 million gift to launch an institute for patient safety, aiming to reduce medical mistakes that have long troubled healthcare facilities around the nation. The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality will conduct research and develop methods for use at Hopkins and other hospitals around the globe that could prevent infections, misdiagnoses, improper treatments and other errors. It may be the first of its kind in the country, Hopkins and patient advocates say. "Fewer things are more important in health care right now than improving patient safety and the quality of health care," Edward D. Miller, MD, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement. "All of us acknowledge these imperatives, but few of us have taken the steps to formally erect a framework that will tackle these issues head on." The donation came from C. Michael Armstrong, chairman of Johns Hopkins Medicine's board of trustees. He is the retired chairman of Comcast, AT&T, Hughes Electronics and IBM World Trade Corp.