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Books, Journals, New Media
April 25, 2001

ErrorMargin of Error: The Ethics of Mistakes in the Practice of Medicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2001;285(16):2134-2135. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2134-JBK0425-3-1

In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its controversial report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.1 The IOM report focused national attention on the commonness of medical errors and resulting hospital deaths—estimated to be between 44 000 and 98 000 per year in the United States—and urged adoption of a "systems approach" for explaining and preventing medical errors. The IOM report recommended national and local strategies to improve patient safety and reduce errors by 50 percent over the next 5 years.

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