Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US, The BMJ, dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2139, 03 May 2016.
Medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death.
Martin Makary and Michael Daniel assess its contribution to mortality and call for better reporting.
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” Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either of omission or commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome, the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning), or a deviation from the process of care that may or may not cause harm to the patient. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual or system level. The taxonomy of errors is expanding to better categorize preventable factors and events. We focus on preventable lethal events to highlight the scale of potential for improvement. “…