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July 08, 2009


Michael Bennett

According to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), there are an estimated 15 million incidents of medical error every year. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports that the average patient experiences at least one medication error per day of hospitalization, which account for about 1.5 million injuries yearly. The CDC estimates that approximately 100,000 patients die every year from hospital-spread infections, the majority of which are preventable. The American Association for Justice estimates that less than 0.9% of these incidents result in some form of litigation and a small fraction of those cases result in actual compensation. The toll in human suffering from all of this is beyond comprehension. While there are no hard figures as to the economic impact from this systemic negligence, the cost of preventable hospital-spread disease alone is estimated at more than $30 billion annualy. With data like this, one wonders why anyone would give a shred of credibility to the corporation underwritten campaign of the tort "reformers".

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