Hospitals Focus on Doing No Harm
Second of two articles. Read the first.
Last week, I reported on the problem of preventable harm in hospitals. It has been estimated that each year between 98,000 and 440,000 people die as a result of preventable errors in hospital. Many readers wrote in with comments about family members who were victims of flawed care. They revealed a sense of betrayal and hurt. How could hospitals — institutions we turn to for comfort when we are most vulnerable — so often increase pain and suffering?
It’s natural to seek to assign blame when harm occurs. But patient safety experts say that medical errors are more a function of faulty systems than faulty people. In recent years, with leadership from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, federal programs like the Partnership for Patients and many others, numerous hospitals have made focused efforts to reduce harm. Here’s a look at some of them.
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