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U.S. Health Care System Fails to Protect Patients From Deadly Medical Errors
Date:5/20/2009

Consumers Union Assesses Lack of Progress Ten Years After Institute of Medicine Found Up To 98,000 Die From Preventable Errors

AUSTIN, Texas, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) sounded the alarm about the widespread toll of medical errors in a groundbreaking report call "To Err is Human." The report prompted a rush of congressional hearings and promises of reform. But in the decade since the report was published, little progress has been made implementing key reforms recommended by the IOM to improve patient safety, according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

In a new report issued today, "To Err is Human - To Delay is Deadly," Consumers Union detailed the lack of progress since the IOM estimated in 1999 that as many as 98,000 Americans die every year from preventable medical errors. Consumers Union's report was released as lawmakers in Congress are working on legislation to address the rising cost of health care and expand access to coverage. Consumers Union maintains that reducing medical harm -- including hospital-acquired infections and medication errors -- would not only improve patient care but also provide significant costs savings to help make expanded access to health coverage possible.

"There is little evidence to suggest that the number of people dying from medical harm has dropped since the IOM first warned about these deadly mistakes a decade ago," said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project (www.SafePatientProject.org). "That means
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SOURCE Consumers Union
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