New Study Estimates Only 14% of Medical Errors Are Reported

A new study conducted by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that only 14% of medical errors are ever reported. If one considers that a 2004 study found that there are approximately 200,000 deaths occurring each year due to preventable medical errors, the number is staggering.
The prevalence of medical errors and their underreporting constitutes a healthcare crisis in this country that severely impacts consumer health, consumer confidence, and the overall economy.
However, there are positive steps that can be taken by consumers. The first and perhaps most important is knowledge. Before undergoing a procedure or entering a healthcare facility, check out www.healthgrades.com and see how your physician and health facility fares on some standard, quantifiable measurements. Second, ask questions and listen carefully to what the doctor or healthcare professional is saying. Get a second or maybe a third opinion.
There are things each of us can do to minimize the potential for medical errors.