The spectrum of medical errors: when patients sue
Barry D Kels,1 Jane M Grant-Kels2
1Department of Surgery, 2Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA
Abstract: Inarguably medical errors constitute a serious, dangerous, and expensive problem for the twenty-first-century US health care system. This review examines the incidence, nature, and complexity of alleged medical negligence and medical malpractice. The authors hope this will constitute a road map to medical providers so that they can better understand the present climate and hopefully avoid the “Scylla and Charybdis” of medical errors and medical malpractice. Despite some documented success in reducing medical errors, adverse events and medical errors continue to represent an indelible stain upon the practice, reputation, and success of the US health care industry. In that regard, what may be required to successfully attack the unacceptably high severity and volume of medical errors is a locally directed and organized initiative sponsored by individual health care organizations that is coordinated, supported, and guided by state and federal governmental and nongovernmental agencies.
Keywords: primum non nocere, medical negligence, medical malpractice, Six Sigma
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