This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week, which is designed to educate clinicians and patients, and to build awareness, for improving the safety of health care at the local level. Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges. A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of lapses in patient safety, more than die each year from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. AHRQ is working in partnership with other government agencies, purchasers of group health care, health care providers and professional organizations to make the U.S. health care system safer for patients and the public. This program features an interview with AHRQ Director Doctor Carolyn Clancy discussing this important issue.