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January 21, 2004

Definitions of Medical Injuries—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(3):303. doi:10.1001/jama.291.3.304-c

In Reply: In response to Drs Schiowitz, Blank, and Carr, many terms, including "adverse events," "medical errors," "medical injuries," "iatrogenic conditions," "health care associated risk," etc, have been introduced to describe unintended injuries to patients and errors in the process of health care.1 The lack of common terminology and taxonomy remains an obstacle to national efforts in improving patient safety. In response, the Institute of Medicine has recently recommended that "the federal government should move expeditiously to identify a core set of well-integrated, nonredundant clinical terminologies for clinical care, quality improvement, and patient safety reporting."2

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