Citizens Medical Center CEO Steve Thames talks patient safety

Citizens Medical Center is making a move toward patient safety.

The medical center's chief executive officer, Steve Thames, and laboratory director, Sammie Sue Hendrix, visited Dana Point, Calif., for the second annual Patient Safety Summit on Jan. 11-13.

Thames participated in a discussion with other representatives of the medical community to talk about patient care concerns and formulating strategies to reach a goal of zero preventable deaths by 2020.

"Our health care responsibility is to foster an environment for patient safety and quality care," Thames said during the debate.

About 300 participants attended the Patient Safety Summit, which engages health care organizations and experts from around the world and encourages collaborations that guarantee patient safety and dignity.

"Hospitals should be safe places and medical errors, patient harm and adverse outcomes should be eliminated from our delivery systems," Thames said.

More than 200,000 deaths in the U.S. annually are associated with health care delivery systems, up from 100,000 one decade ago, making preventable deaths third behind heart disease and cancer.