An opinion piece in USA Today states there are three solutions being used to address the crisis problem of medical errors in hospitals worth expanding. A 1999 Institute of Medicine report stated that as many as 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors annually. Recently the Inspector General, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, released a study that found that each year medical errors may contribute to the death of as many as 180,000 Medicare patients, 80,000 of which are preventable.
The three remedies referred to in the article include following simple checklists, providing transparency relating to the number and kinds of medical errors to guide consumer choices, and instituting financial incentives such as Medicare refusing to pay for care caused by medical errors can help reverse the “intolerable toll” caused by medical errors.
The author provides the link to several websites where a patient may view comparative data on individual hospitals including Medicare’s Hospital Compare, which appears to be a good resource to check.