Medical Errors Continue To Pose Major Risk To Patients

Albany Times Union reports on continuing medical errors. "Health care reform consumed the nation for the last 12 months but, despite all the talk, the country took only baby steps toward reducing medical errors that injure and kill millions of hospital patients. A year ago, the Hearst Newspapers series 'Dead by Mistake' revealed the unnecessary harm that still plagues medical care even though a federal report 'To Err is Human' exposed the problem and laid out solutions 11 years ago. Medical harm occurs 15 million times a year, according to estimates by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a non-profit educational organization that provides training and guidance for better health care safety. That includes about 200,000 deaths caused by avoidable mistakes and hospital-acquired infections. This year's congressional action expanded health insurance to more people and created incentives for hospitals to provide quality care through new Medicare penalties" (Crowley and Nadler, 9/20).

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