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Patient Safety: What Can We Do?
It's been more than a decade, now, since the landmark report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, was released by the U.S. Institute of Medicine in November, 1999. This report has been credited widely with bringing the issue of medical errors to the attention of the public at large, and with starting the movement for patient safety that continues today.
The report was based upon analysis of multiple studies by a variety of organizations and concluded that between 44,000 to 98,000 people died each year as a result of preventable medical errors. A simple definition of a medical error is a preventable adverse effect of some form of medical care.