Medical Malpractice and Healthcare

Healthcare and patient safety have recently received much media scrutiny. The NY Times published an article concerning a recent New England Journal of Medicine study that found hospitals to be dangerous places for sick patients. The study, “Temporal Trends in Rates of Patient Harm Resulting from Medical Care” noted that hospitals are as dangerous and unsafe as they were a decade ago. The study also found that 63% of the medical errors occurring in hospitals are preventable. In spite of the study “To Err is Human”, patient safety is still woefully inadequate. That 1999 study found that nearly 100,000 patients die each year from medical errors. The study also found that medical malpractice and patient errors had reached epidemic proportions. The situation hasn’t improved since that time. Today, when a patient is admitted to a hospital he/she stands a 25% chance of getting worse while hospitalized. That’s an appalling figure.