In 1999, the medical community was rocked by a report prepared by the Institute of Medicine which classified the problem of medical errors as an epidemic. That report concluded that approximately 95,000 people died each year from preventable medical mistakes. The annual cost to medical facilities was determined to be between $17 billion and $29 billion.
Although the Institute of Medicine’s report prompted much debate over the years regarding what could be done to protect patients, a more recent report prepared by researchers from John Hopkins University found that the medical community might not have had too much success in doing so. In fact, preventable medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in this country.
Unlike the 1999 report, which relied upon data from just one study, the Johns Hopkins report used data collected from four major studies. Two of these studies were from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, during the years 2000 to 2008....