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Dennis Quaid, Frontman for Patient Safety


Dennis Quaid, 56, describes himself as the front man in the campaign to implement safe practices in patient care. The event that turned this actor into an activist was a medical mistake which almost took the life of his new born twins.

The medical mistake occurred at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 2007. His 10 day old twins were mistakenly given adult doses rather than the pediatric version of the blood thinner Hep-lock.

Quaid spoke at a National Press Club luncheon on Monday, telling the audience “My mission today is to drive awareness ... awareness of both the harm and the opportunity to save countless lives."

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The campaign to improve patient care promotes the implementation of "safe practices" as simple as hand-washing and the use of technologies such as bar codes to match medications to patients. These are included in the "Safe Practices for Better Healthcare" report released by the National Quality Forum.

Quaid is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Global Patient Safety Summit in Nice, France later this month. His documentary, Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm, will make its debut April 22 at the Summit. In addition, the documentary will air April 24, May 1 and May 8 on the Discovery Channel.

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National Quality Forum