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Most Medical Errors Are Not Detected, and Cost Billions Each Year

Current methods may detect just 10 percent of medical errors.

ABC World News reported that there is “stunning medical news tonight about how many Americans have something go wrong when they go to the hospital. … One in three patients will face a mistake during a hospital stay. Far worse than we’ve ever been told.”

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “In the April issue of the journal Health Affairs, which focuses on medical error[s], a team of researchers affiliated with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass., report that the number of ‘adverse events’ in hospitals — injuries caused by medical error rather than patients’ underlying conditions — might be 10 times greater than previously measured.” Researchers “used a new method to look for bad outcomes, reviewing medical records for 795 patients at three large US hospitals that had ‘well-established operational patient safety programs.’” They “detected 354 adverse events among the patients — 10 times more than other methods in use.” The researchers concluded that in all, “adverse events occurred in 33.2% of admissions.”

Study shows medical errors cost billions of dollars each year.

The National Journal reports, “As much as 45 cents out of every dollar spent on US healthcare is related to a medical mistake, researchers reported on Thursday.” In fact, “some kind of mistake or adverse event occurs in one-third of all hospital admissions — far more than in previous estimates and in spite of 10 years of efforts to do away with these errors, one of several studies on the subject published in the journal Health Affairs found.” Notably, the “single most expensive cause of harm is infection after surgery: More than 252,000 infections in 2008 cost $3.36 billion, Jill Van Den Bos of Milliman’s Denver Health Practice and colleagues reported in Health Affairs.”

From the American Association for Justice press release.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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