'Pattern Of Errors' Plagues Military Medicine

The New York Times' investigation finds that on several important measures, the military system "has consistently had higher than expected rates of harm and complications."

The New York Times: In Military Care, A Pattern Of Errors But Not Scrutiny
The Zeppa case is emblematic of persistent lapses in protecting patients that emerged from an examination by The New York Times of the nation’s military hospitals, the hub of a sprawling medical network -- entirely separate from the scandal-plagued veterans system -- that cares for the 1.6 million active-duty service members and their families. ... From 2011 to 2013, medical workers reported 239 unexpected deaths, but only 100 inquiries were forwarded to the Pentagon’s patient-safety center, where analysts recommend how to improve care. Cases involving permanent harm often remained unexamined as well. At the same time, by several measures considered crucial barometers of patient safety, the military system has consistently had higher than expected rates of harm and complications in two central parts of its business -- maternity care and surgery (LaFraniere and Lehren, 6/28).

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