This Week’s Report: Patient Safety

Tens of thousands of medical mistakes occur each year in hospitals and other health care facilities, often with serious consequences, including injury and death due to post-surgical infections, overmedication, contaminated catheters, in-hospital falls and oversight by overworked staff.

A groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report a dozen years ago found what one expert called “stunningly high rates of medical errors.” Despite government and private efforts since then, “many experts say health care remains unsafe,” writes veteran journalist Barbara Mantel.

This compelling report includes survey data on how hospital employees view patient safety and a list of tips that patients can use to help prevent medical errors.

--Thomas J. Billitteri, Managing Editor