Preventing Medical Errors: What You Need to Know

According to a new study published in the BMJ, medical errors now rank as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., with only heart disease and cancer accounting for more deaths. While I do believe the latest study overestimates deaths related to errors, it’s clear that these mistakes – ranging from patients being given the wrong medication or dose to missed diagnoses – profoundly impact patient outcomes and mortality rates.

These errors occur for reasons ranging from poor clinical judgment to inadequate communication between health providers. Besides putting patients in harm’s way, these mishaps contribute to rising health care costs.