Modern Healthcare: With no national reporting system, volume of medical errors is still unknown

“For the purpose of improving patient safety, wouldn’t it help to know whether the number of patients who die each year due to preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals is 44,000 or 400,000?”

“That’s the grisly range of estimates produced by researchers over the past 20 years, starting with the Institute of Medicine’s To Err is Human report in 1999…”

“But 20 years after the IOM authors called for developing a mandatory, nationwide system for reporting adverse events causing death or serious harm, no such system has been established. Thus, no one knows how frequently patients experience harm in healthcare settings, though nearly everyone agrees it’s far too common.”

“More than two dozen states require providers to report adverse patient events, but they typically limit reportable events to a narrow range of “never events” defined by the National Quality Forum, which only covers a small fraction of all harm events and errors. Only a few states report facility-specific information, and some do not report any information to the public, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy…” Read the full article here.

Source: With no national reporting system, volume of medical errors is still unknown – By Harris Meyer, November 9, 2019. Modern Healthcare.

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