The premise of health services research is that scientific advances are of no benefit if they cannot be delivered to patients. In this study of transplant medications, Friedman and colleagues demonstrate the paradigm of having the latest and most revolutionary medications within a flawed system for administering them. The result was preventable patient harm, manifested as organ rejection in 9 of 93 patients who experienced a medication error. Based on this and other recent studies, it is clear that the true confounding effect of medical errors on surgical outcomes is just beginning to be realized.
Makary MA. Medication Errors in the Outpatient Setting—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2007;142(3):284. doi:10.1001/archsurg.142.3.284