The trusted source for
healthcare information and
Injuries attributable to medical errors may number more than 3 million and cost more than $200 billion per year, according to data prepared by the American Medical Association’s National Patient Safety Foundation.
Serious injuries from medical errors occur in about 17% of patients admitted to intensive care and surgical units at teaching hospitals, according to Lucian Leape, MD, adjunct professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. He recently released the information from a University of Chicago study of medical errors, as part of the AMA group’s ongoing effort to assess the impact of medical errors and devise solutions. The Chicago study was based on actual observations in a clinical setting, and Leape says past studies based on data from medical records probably underestimated the scope of the problem.
Medical errors also will be addressed by a new coalition called the National Patient Safety Partnership, made up of the Veterans’ Administration, the AMA, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses’ Association, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The formation of the coalition was announced recently by Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, Under Secretary for Health for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Washington, DC. The National Patient Safety Partnership intends to hold a national summit on patient safety.