“Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients; an estimated 48,000-98,000 patients die from medical errors each year. Errors in health care have been estimated to cost more than $5 million per year in a large teaching hospital, and preventable health care-related errors cost the economy from $17 to $29 billion each year”(AHRQ, 2000). There are different types of medical errors including surgical errors, medication errors, diagnostic errors, and system failures. The purpose of this research paper is to review medical errors, and what can be done to reduce it.
Knowledge, Comprehension, and Analysis
According to Paxton and Rubinfeld (2010), a medical error is an “inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis and/or treatment of a disease, injury, syndrome, behavior, infection or other ailment.” Medical errors are known to occur in hospitals but can also occur in outpatient clinics, nursing homes, or laboratories. In a recent investigation of pharmacists, the Massachusetts State Board of Registration in Pharmacy estimated that 2.4 million prescriptions are filled improperly each year in the state (AHRQ, 2005).
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates there are 15 million instances of medical harm in American every year with more than 238,000 hospital deaths among Medicare patients alone between 2004 and 2006 due to medical mistakes that could have been prevented (Peng, 2008). This is more deaths than motor accidents, breast cancer, and AIDS, which are three causes that receive more public attention. Medical errors also carry a high financial cost. Medical errors cost the Nation approximately $37.6 billion each year, with $17 billion of those costs being associated with preventable errors (AHRQ, 2005).
1.5 billion people a year are affected by medication errors alone due to causes that can include misdiagnosis, incorrect medication or dosage, wrong site or unnecessary surgery, infections, serious...