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March 25, 2009

Measuring Preventable Harm: Helping Science Keep Pace With Policy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Dr Pronovost); and Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Dr Colantuoni), Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2009;301(12):1273-1275. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.388

Four years after Sorrel King's daughter, Josie, died from preventable medical errors in 2001,1 King asked us if her daughter would be less likely to die today. We answered by describing the myriad safety programs in hospitals. She abruptly cut us off. King was not interested in what we were doing. She wanted evidence that Josie and other patients were less likely to be harmed by medical care today, but we could not give her this evidence.

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