The Impact of Medical Errors

A recent analysis published in BMJ by Dr. Martin Markary and Michael Daniel highlight the fact that medical error is not reported on death certificates or in rankings for cause of death. Their estimate of patient deaths associated with medical error place it as the third most common cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer, based on comparisons to causes of death compiled by the CDC. They urge systems to move towards collecting better data for research and prevention efforts.

Building Safer Health IT

Health information technology (HIT) solutions are proven to be successful in improving patient safety in certain settings. For example, the implementation of computerized medication prescribing tools coupled with a barcoding system can reduce medication errors. However, it is inconclusive whether or not these HIT solutions are successful across settings.

Research for Improving Diagnosis

A 2015 report from the Institute of Medicine, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care," identified existing gaps in our health care system's knowledge when it comes to preventing and mitigating diagnostic error as well as improving the diagnostic process.  Resultingly, the IOM committee concluded that most individuals will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, at times with devastating consequences. Drs.