errors of omission
Summary from John James: “The devastation wrought by hurricane Sandy leaves us full of empathy for those who lost loved ones and homes. When disaster unfolds suddenly, we notice it as the news media graphically magnifies the events on our TVs. The disaster that comprises much our medical industry quietly unfolds as medical errors occur in hospitals spread across the nation, and no one is there to produce graphic images of the death and suffering. In an attempt to display some of the suffering, my November newsletter begins with a review of the book “Unaccountable” by Marty Makary, MD. I was not fully aware of the endemic nature of the dangers lurking in hospitals.
The first two articles deal with medical errors – the first on diagnostic errors and the second on errors of omission. On page 3 I take a look at recent misdeeds of big Pharma, and then deal with ethical issues associated post-marketing drug testing on patients. A business model suggests that providers should start giving us what we really want – health – not medical care. Finally, we have a look at why hospital prices continue to escalate. I hope you find these stories informative.”
John T. James PhD, a patient safety advocate in our Safe Patient Project network, has published a new study in the Journal of Patient Safety that estimates the number of patient deaths associated with hospital care is more than 400,000 a year. James’ estimate revises an outdated Institute of Medicine 1999 estimate of 98,000 patient deaths a year from medical errors. His numbers should awaken the public to this leading cause of death in America. In this special guest blog post, John James tells us what motivated him to come up with this new medical harm estimate.