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Invited Critique
October 2010October 18, 2010

The Hazard of More Reporting in Quality Measurement: Comment on “Wrong-Site and Wrong-Patient Procedures in the Universal Protocol Era”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(10):984. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.186

The US health care system is truly spectacular. Patients travel from other countries to get our state-of-the-art care. And our research is the envy of the world. Yet this same health care system leaves sponges in patients, amputates the wrong limbs, and overdoses children by issuing prescriptions with sloppy handwriting. This study alerts us, yet again, to the alarming problem of preventable errors—a systems issue that should have been engineered from surgical care long ago. Instead, we are only now beginning to realize the magnitude of the problem.