Medical Errors: Improving Quality of Care and Consumer Information

Testimony

Medical Errors: Improving Quality of Care and Consumer Information

Testimony before the House Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Environment and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Committee on Veterans
February 9, 2000

Abstract

The general patient-safety approach is to de-emphasize blaming individuals for errors and injuries in the fashion of legal liability or professional discipline. Those systems probably help, but do not prevent the high level of avoidable error that many investigators have found. Errors can be reduced further by focusing on how systems within which individuals operate can help support good clinical decision making and keep slips or lapses by caregivers from reaching patients and causing harm.

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