“It boils down to people dying from the care that they receive rather than the disease for which they are seeking care.”
Researchers at John Hopkins University have found Medical Errors to be the third leading cause of death in the United States—ranking medical errors higher than stroke, accidents, and respiratory disease. According to an article in The Washington Post, Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the research for this study, said in an interview that ‘medical errors includes everything from bad doctors to more systemic issues such as communication breakdowns when patients are handed off from one department to another.’ The researchers conducted this study in order to shed light on a topic that is not consistently discussed, or accurately reported. Kenneth Sands, who directs health-care quality at Beth Israel
Deaconess Medical Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, said that the surprising thing about medical errors is the limited change that has taken place since the IOM report came out. Only hospital-acquired infections have shown improvement. “The overall numbers haven’t changed, and that’s discouraging and alarming,” he said.