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To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System: Medical Negligence Occurs but Why?

The Institute of Medicine found a decade ago that as many as 98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors, costing the nation an estimated $29 billion. The literature where this data is found is titled, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. The authors note medical errors kill more people than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, guns, AIDS, and many other harms. Matter of fact, they say medical errors are the nations 6th leading cause of death.

The literature’s goal is to educate and set out plans to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety through the design of safer health systems. To Err is Human asserts that the problem is not bad people in health care – it is that good people are working in bad systems that need to be safer.

I agree with this literature in that most of the time it is not bad people causing harm, it is usually bad systems. Patient safety in America’s health care system should be a priority and “bad systems” should be held accountable for their actions that cause harm. Medical Negligence lawsuits are sometimes the only avenue harmed patients have to hold the “bad systems” accountable.

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