Morbidity and Mortality Accountability in Healthcare

September 21, 2010
Jeff Kaplan, MD

Each year, tens of thousands of patients die from hospital-acquired infections, preventable medical errors, and diagnostic errors.

The statistics are ugly: every year, about 100,000 patients die from infections they got during or from health care itself. Approximately 100,000 die from some other preventable error. Tens of thousands of patients die of diagnostic errors or when they failed to receive recommended therapies.

Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, laments in "Learning Accountability for Patient Outcomes,” that, unfortunately, physicians are often "overconfident about the quality of care they provide, believing things will go right rather than wrong, assuming they provide higher-quality care than the evidence suggests, and thinking they alone have sufficient knowledge and skills to provide care." He closes by arguing for accountability in one's clinical behaviors and patient outcomes.

I agree! It's time.