Executive Summary Viewing Health Care Delivery as Science: Challenges, Benefits and Policy Implications The U.S. health care system is expensive, often harms patients, and frequently fails to deliver high quality care. Over 100,000 patients die each year from hospital-acquired infections and patients on average receive 50% of recommended therapies. Deficits in the delivery of care stem from our failure to invest in and view the delivery of health care as a science. Until now, Congress allocated a dollar to develop breakthrough treatments for every penny it allocated to ensure Americans actually received those treatments. Consequently, the science to improve safety is immature; examples of large-scale safety improvements are rare; methods to evaluate progress in patient safety are virtually non-existent; and most importantly, patients continue to suffer preventable morbidity, mortality, and added costs of care. The lack of data to analyze, understand, and ultimately improve health care is a complex local and national problem that leaves consumers in the dark and preventable deaths, suffering and costs invisible. In this essay, we discuss some of the challenges, potential benefits, and policy implications of measuring progress in patient safety. We also make recommendations to expedite the evolution of both the science and public accountability for patient safety.