Three area hospital systems are part of a new joint effort to make South Carolina hospitals safer for patients.

The Medical University of South Carolina, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and the VA Medical Center are signed on for the South Carolina Safe Care Commitment, which includes a total of 20 hospitals throughout the state.

Their intention is “to solve health care’s most critical safety and quality problems by creating solutions for progressing toward high reliability in health care,” according to a press release from the South Carolina Hospital Association and the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, two organizations helping spearhead the effort.

The collaboration complements the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires hospitals to improve health outcomes and reduce medical errors.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.