Learn Patient Safety Statistics Here

Easy to Find, Easy to Read, Easy to Understand


If you have studies or articles to share which have official and verifiable statistics  please send to us at [email protected]

Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy

ONE IS A NUMBER: The Starfish Story

One is a Number Gathers Easy to Read, Easy to Understand, Patient Safety Facts in One Place

Because when it is someone you love - one avoidable death or one avoidable injury is too many - that's how we measure medical errors.

In 2016 Johns Hopkins patient safety experts calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error in the U.S.

But, when it is you, or someone you love, the numbers don’t matter – because each person must be counted. We may never be able to count each life we can save, so we have to reach everyone because "One is a Number."

We hope that this will be a place to easily find studies and information about patient safety and studies about medical errors while remembering that each number represents someone who entrusted their life or the life of a loved one to the healthcare system.

Since studies are not always done often, some may seem outdated.  We try to keep up with the latest studies and reports.

The Starfish Story

by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."