Patient Safety

Can U.S. hospitals significantly reduce their medical mistakes?


The pandemic has highlighted long-standing cracks in the U.S. health care system, including the stubborn problem of patient safety. Before COVID-19, preventable medical mistakes claimed approximately 200,000 or more American lives each year, despite the government and organizations prioritizing patient safety over the past two decades. That number may grow as U.S. hospitals face staff shortages, especially if new spikes in COVID-19 cases cause these institutions to repeatedly be overwhelmed with high numbers of patients. As discussions continue on how to reduce injuries and deaths from medical errors, experts and advocates disagree on how to accomplish that. Some hospitals are aiming for zero patient harm, but others argue that is an unattainable goal. Meanwhile, many patient advocates are calling for the federal oversight system on ...

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