I was in an email discussion with some local healthcare leaders about the number of deaths due to medical errors in hospitals. I found myself going back to various documents and searches. I was and it is confusing! Getting it as right as possible is important, but not necessarily simple. Ultimately, the experts are saying somewhat different things, BUT the numbers are consistently high and we all should know about them.
To help consolidate a resource for discussions, I am taking excerpts about the topic from testimonies by experts given at a US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Hearing that took place in July of 2014. It is called “Patient Safety: Over 1000 deaths a day is too many“, lasts about an hour long and is available online. You can download complete pdf files of the testimonies and citations. I hope this is helpful for promoting informed discussions and raising awareness among healthcare professionals, consumers, and other stakeholders.
Links to Excerpts from:
- John James, PhD , Founder, Patient Safety America, Houston, TX
- Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston,
- Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH , President, National Patient Safety Foundation; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
- Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality and Director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD
- Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, Professor ad Honorem, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN
- Lisa McGiffert, Director, Safe Patient Project, Consumers Union, Austin, TX
In my opinion, John James, PhD’s statistic of over 440,0000 deaths yearly due to preventable adverse events associated with hospitalizations in the U.S is a credible statistic. To read my open letter to the Senate Subcommittee in response to the hearing go here.