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December 22/29, 2020

Two Decades Since To Err Is Human: Progress, but Still a “Chasm”

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin
JAMA. 2020;324(24):2489-2490. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.23151

It has been more than 2 decades since the Institute of Medicine (IOM; now the National Academy of Medicine [NAM]) published To Err Is Human in 2000,1 which concluded that up to an estimated 98 000 deaths each year may result from preventable medical errors. In 2020, as a host of articles appeared to celebrate the anniversary of the report, the COVID-19 pandemic cruelly illustrated the ways in which the US health system has still fallen far short of the goal of providing safe, high-quality care.