The Baltimore Sun published an important front page article yesterday on hospital errors in Maryland.
The premise of the article is a stunningly simple yet different approach to medical mistakes in Maryland hospitals. It goes like this. We have an estimated 400,000 who are killed every year by medical malpractice. How are Maryland hospitals faring? We don’t know. There is a major epidemic that kills enough people in this county to fill Camden Yards 10 times a year. Malpractice that causes serious injury could fill Camden Yards over 100 times (4,000,000) a year. Yet we have no quality way of estimating how Maryland is faring. Why is this? The hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies make no effort to provide this data to us.
Said differently, we are all — particularly those of us that are young or old — vulnerable to this grave risk. We face other risks of course. Heart disease, cancer, motor vehicle accidents, diabetes, all pose great risks of death. With these risks, we have the ability to sift through the data, understand the risks, and do what we can. We quit smoking, eat better, wear seat belts, and so forth.
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