KevinMD October 1, 2023
Barbara L. Olson, RN

Just a few weeks ago, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) issued a report, “A Transformational Effort on Patient Safety.” This was both a “surprise” and “not a surprise” to me because I’m a nurse, a subject matter expert in patient safety, and a shop teacher’s daughter.

PCAST’s call for action was not a surprise because in 2023, care intended to help patients harms them at an alarming rate. One in four Medicare beneficiaries will experience an adverse event while hospitalized. Upwards of 250,000 people in the U.S. die each year because of medical errors. Good people, smart people—epidemiologists, clinicians, data wizards—quibble about numbers and methodologies, parse denominators, and argue about the precise incidence of serious...

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