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Medical Errors

Medical Errors

Wrong surgery, wrong medication, serious bedsores… Unsafe practices and poor quality care kill more than 440,000 patients each year and waste billions of dollars every year. What information do you have about the safety of your hospital? What protections do you have if the hospital makes a mistake with you?

Consumers Union Documents

Consumers Union News Releases

Blog Posts

  • Does your doctor wash their hands?

    Check out this great new video about hand hygiene practices by health care workers created by the Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients.

  • 5 Reasons Why Duodenoscope Problems Matter

    Duodenoscopes have contributed to deadly CRE infection outbreaks across the country. Learn how to protect yourself.

  • Factors to Consider When Choosing a Doctor

    What factors do you consider when choosing a doctor? Do you care more about having a doctor who communicates well or is it more important that your doctor has lots of experience and skills?

  • 3 Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Your Medications

    Learn the Risks and Benefits of Any Drug You Take Taking a new medication is a big deal. When a doctor recommends a new prescription, you should walk away knowing why it was prescribed and how you should monitor your symptoms after taking it. The more informed you are as a patient, the easier it will Continue Reading

  • A Surprising Way to Avoid Medical Errors in the Hospital

    Most of us have a bad waiter or waitress experience. Maybe they were rude, made a mistake with your dish, or overcharged you. Similarly, people have had less than optimal experiences in the hospital, as a patient or family member of a patient.

News Articles

  • To reduce malpractice litigation, stop making mistakes
    Source: The Hill (Monday March 16, 2015)

    A new Public Citizen report about obstetric safety in the United States concludes the U.S. “has a poor childbirth safety record, likely due in part to the failure of obstetrics practitioners to develop and adhere to standardized practices.”

  • Joan Rivers Lawsuit Will Focus on Informed Consent
    Source: Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare (Friday February 6, 2015)

    A good document for patients to read before signing informed consent forms.

  • The Public's Views on Medical Error in Massachusetts
    Source: Harvard School of Public Health (Sunday December 14, 2014)

    The report commissioned by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction reveals the public’s ambivalence and confusion about reporting medical errors.

  • Medical errors in Mass. still common, study finds
    Source: Boston Globe (Tuesday December 2, 2014)

    Work done by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety reports that a quarter of MA residents had a medical error but many did not report the error because they didn’t think it would do any good.

  • The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts

    The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts poses the question of Congressional district safety not in regard to a representative’s political health in an election year, but in relation to the risk to physical health of constituents.

Research and Reports