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Medical Error

The Institute of Medicine published a study in 1999 called “To Err is Human”. The study estimated deaths because of medical errors as high as 98,000 a year. The report called the results an epidemic. Needless to say, the entire healthcare industry was shocked and many plans were developed for increased attention to patient safety and quality. A new study by researchers was just published in The BMJ, one of the most influential general medicine journals in the world. Two medical researchers at at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found the current situation is even worse. They reported the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer is medical errors in hospitals and other health care facilities. They put the estimate at 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s.