Too many Americans are dying each year from medical errors, and something has to be done about it.
According to a national investigation conducted by Hearst newspaper and television journalists, about 200,000 people in America die each year from preventable medical mistakes and hospital infections. “Dead By Mistake” reports that 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors, and just as many die from hospital–acquired infections.
In 1999, a highly publicized federal report entitled “To Err Is Human” drew attention to the startlingly high number of deaths from preventable medical mistakes. The report called on the medical community to cut this death rate in half in five years. The Hearst investigation revealed that little or no progress has been made to improve patient safety through accountability measures or other efforts.
Here are some of the major findings of the Hearst investigation:
- Twenty states have no medical error reporting, five states have voluntary reporting systems, and five are developing reporting systems.
- Of the 20 states that require medical error reporting, hospitals report only a small percentage of the mistakes, standards vary widely, and enforcement is frequently nonexistent.
- Forty-five states do not release hospital-specific information.
- Only 17 states have systematic adverse-event reporting systems that are transparent enough to be useful to consumers.
- The national patient-safety center is underfunded and has fallen far short of expectations.
- Hearst journalists interviewed 20 of the 21 living authors of “To Err is Human”—16 believe that the United States hasn’t come close to reducing medical errors by half, the primary stated goal of the report.
If someone you love has died or suffered permanent brain injury from medical malpractice, contact the Louisville medical malpractice attorneys at Gray and White Law. Call 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.