In spite of the groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report entitled “To Err is Human”, patient safety and the rate of medical errors leading to medical malpractice hasn’t improved significantly in the last ten years, that’s according to two authors of the original study. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Donald Berwick, president of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, gives the state of medical safety a C-.
While there may be more awareness of medical errors, there has been little significant progress in preventing or correcting these errors in the medical field. A lack of mandatory medical error reporting across the United States is a factor in the lack of progress in patient safety. If there is no baseline from which to gauge the problem of medical errors, it’s difficult to track progress. Another factor in the lack of safety progress concerns the medical profession’s hesitancy to embrace technological innovations such as electronic medical records which studies have shown, can reduce medical errors significantly.
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