Have you ever had an “aha moment” related to patient safety? They can occur in the immediate aftermath of a near miss or far from patient care: in a meeting room or while reviewing a seemingly mundane report. The “aha” might be the discovery of a subtle risk or the revelation of a practical way to solve a persistent peril. Or maybe it’s just the realization that you have a driving urge to crack a really tough nut—to take on a big patient safety problem.

But really, what can one person do to make care safer, to protect patients and keep physicians and nurses out of trouble…and out of court? From slips and falls to wrong-site surgery to missed MIs, we all make discoveries that call for action. And because patient safety is a universal mission in health care, a good idea can be enough to motivate colleagues to join your effort. Cherish their interest and harness their ability to advance the research or analyses or innovations. A successful patient safety project—one that leads to fewer patients being harmed—relies on: a) credible data, b) a multi-disciplinary team of experts and hands-on personnel, and c) lessons or interventions that can be broadly adopted.

Of course, without funding to supplement additional commitments and staffing, even a small-scale project may never move beyond “aha.” Fortunately, the organizations you work for or with: the institutions, practices, insurers, think tanks, professional societies, etc., who form the health care delivery structure share your obligation to turn an aha moment into a change for the better.

At CRICO, we constantly seek opportunities to help individual clinicians, practice groups, departments, and entire organizations identify patient safety vulnerabilities and mitigate those risks that often result in high-severity malpractice claims. Over the past 20 years, our robust patient safety grants program has enabled hundreds of clinicians (and non-clinicians) to “do something” about a patient safety concern. If you are insured by CRICO*, and you’ve had an aha moment, then we encourage you to explore our grants criteria.

Outside the CRICO system, our patient safety grants program has many peers. Below is a sampling of national, state, or private organizations that fund research and operational activities that address the underlying causes of patient harm.

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