Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: Previous studies1
estimating preventable deaths have assumed that the error assessment had unbiased
interrater reliability and that if care had been optimal, the patient would
have had a 100% chance of living. Our study found that both assumptions were
incorrect and led to dramatic overestimation. We see no merit in Drs Barach
and Mohr's concern that our study is too small. Our study's statistical power
is comparable to that of the Harvard Medical Practice Study (HMPS),2 and the 95% confidence interval for our key finding
is 1.0-1.5. Therefore, our 383 reviews of 179 deaths (including 111 active-care
deaths) is more than adequate.
Hayward RA, Hofer TP. Preventable Deaths From Medical Errors—Reply. JAMA. 2001;286(22):2813–2814. doi:10.1001/jama.286.22.2808
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