Newswise — A part of a landmark patient safety study, Eric Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), has been appointed to the Board of Advisors of the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF).

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Thomas in this, our 20th anniversary year,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., president of NPSF. “The breadth of experience that our board members hold is testament to the growth of the patient safety field and helps to guide the foundation in fulfilling its mission.”

Thomas’ work focuses on diagnostic errors, measuring safety culture, measuring and improving teamwork, and the use of health information technology to improve quality and safety. In 2007, he received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Research from the National Quality Forum and Joint Commission.

He is the associate dean for healthcare quality and the Griff T. Ross Professor in Humanities and Technology in Health Care at UTHealth. He is also the director of the UTHealth-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report, "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” which showed that each year tens of thousands of people die as a result of medical errors. Research by Thomas was cited in the report.

NPSF has been a central voice for patient safety since 1997. It partners with patients and families, the health care community and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm.