KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

‘Never Events’ – Medical Errors – Still Continue 10 Years After Landmark Report

Advocates and experts examine progress made since the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report that called for the elimination of medical errors, or "never events," ten years ago. Modern HealthCare interviews Helen Haskell, who founded the advocacy organization Mothers Against Medical Error, and examines progress and shortcomings: "Families are still losing loved ones to errors, Haskell explained during a recent conference hosted by Consumers Union. But the biggest difference in the past 10 years is, 'where once there was denial, we now have tireless leaders.'"

"But what did it take to get to this point? The American Hospital Association, promoting its Prescriptions for Reform campaign that was launched in October, touts quality initiatives and improvements in organizational excellence that hospitals have made toward better and safer care. AHA President and CEO Richard Umbdenstock, among others, hails the IOM report as a 'landmark' in healthcare. Prior to the light shed on quality shortfalls at hospitals, providers were able to dismiss errors and patient harm as other hospitals' concerns, not their own" (DerGurahian, 12/7).

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