400,000 Patients Is The Latest Estimate Of Those Needlessly Dying Due To Medical Errors, And Twice As Many As Any Previous Estimate

People are needlessly dying in our hospitals in epidemic numbers while national leaders focus on how to save money through ObamaCare. Dr. Ira Williams, patient safety expert and author of the recent book Find The Black Box identifies what has always been missing in the efforts to make medical care safer.

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Greenville, SC (PRWEB) October 24, 2013

Institute of Medicine To Err Is Human (http://is.gd/2MSBhR) raised national awareness of the tragic rate of needless hospital deaths annually in 2000. The basis of 98,000 annual needless hospital deaths used in To Err Is Human had resulted from four years of research in New York state hospitals ending in 1990.

Ten years after To Err Is Human Sully Sullenberger, Hero on the Hudson, (http://is.gd/26uxXj) estimated that there were 200,000 preventable deaths each year in our hospitals, and that is like having 20 Boeing 747 airliners going down each week.

Now John T. James, PhD in Journal of Patient Safety, September 2013 (http://is.gd/GzKOg3) offers a much higher estimate of annual deaths due to medical errors. Using Global Trigger Tools James estimates, “…the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year. Serious harm seems to be 10 to 20 fold more common than lethal harm.”

In Find The Black Box (http://is.gd/UK4Uk0) Williams identifies the two fundamentals of all medical care that have always been ignored, or more probably unrecognized in all of the efforts to improve the quality of healthcare and patient safety; all medical care is local and states license doctors.

Those two fundamental facts of all patient care were never recognized in To Err Is Human, and have never been recognized in the voluminous quality of healthcare literature since. As a result, the current rate of needless hospital deaths has at least doubled that original 1990 estimate, and according to James, perhaps has quadrupled, thus easily demonstrating that efforts to date have been drastically ineffective.

Worst still, twenty three years after that original estimate of annual needless hospital deaths our nation’s healthcare system must continue to rely upon highly speculative estimates due to a complete lack of any ability to obtain a far more precise count of how many patients are dying in our nation’s hospitals during any definitive period of time.

Williams contends that the annual rate of needless hospital deaths is far greater now than estimated two decades ago primarily because those two fundamentals of all medical care have been ignored, or more probably unrecognized. Find The Black Box offers a solution to the needless hospital death dilemma.


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    Dr. Ira Williams
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