Focusing on Both Deaths and Harm from Medical Errors

July 20, 2016    |   By: Eunice Halverson, MA, CPPS

Focusing on Both Deaths and Harm from Medical Errors

In his latest post to the “Line of Sight” blog, IHI President and CEO, Derek Feeley, reflects on the controversy and criticism surrounding a recent British Medical Journal article, which asserts that medical errors would rank as the third leading cause of death in the US if government calculations included these errors. Feeley welcomes the debate on how best to calculate the number of lives lost as a result of such errors, and he proposes that focusing on preventable deaths is necessary but not sufficient. It’s equally important, he says, to better understand and address the myriad types of preventable harm patients suffer from medical errors.

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