The “One is a Number, Starfish Campaign” is a grassroots effort by individuals and consumer organizations dedicated to eliminating medical injuries, infections and other preventable medical errors and adverse events in today’s healthcare system.
The campaign is a coalition of existing patient safety efforts, resources and consumer groups who share a common goal of informing, educating and supporting individuals in their healthcare experiences.
By joining the “One is a Number, Starfish Campaign,” you are committed to doing your best to be sure every patient, no matter what their illness or injury, is knowledgeable and aware of patient safety practices and strategies.
To join the Starfish Campaign and become a partner as we grow, please email “Become a Partner”
In November 2009, it was 10 years since the Institute of Medicine Report “To Err is Human” was released. That report, that stated that as many as 98,000 people die each year in hospitals from preventable medical errors, has led to many additional studies and research about numbers. 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 – One is a Number.
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."