The Standard is Zero Preventable Harm
MAJ Tyler Burningham DMD
Zero preventable harm must be the goal of every healthcare provider and the mission of every healthcare facility. According to a 2013 report, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die yearly as a result of preventable medical errors.1 Death is one problem with preventable mistakes, fixing the mistake will waste money and resources. Additional appointments will be needed, medical supplies used, and hospital staff working longer hours. Why are providers and hospital administration content with such high rates of preventable errors. I have heard so many poor excuses, but the fact of the matter is they are nothing but excuses. Our solders and family members deserve better, they deserve our upmost dedication to their safety. That is why zero preventable harm must be the standard of care.
Medical mistakes is the third leading cause of death in the United States.2 Forget about warning labels on cigarette boxes, we need warning labels as we enter medical facilities. You would not fly on a plan if every day two 747 airliners crashed because of preventable maintenance. The public would not stand for it. Yet this is how many people die because of preventable medical errors. 440,000 people is 88% of the active duty Army, this is how many people die due to preventable errors. Wether it is your mom, dad, son, daughter, or spouse, you likely know someone who is a victim of preventable medical mistakes. These mistakes are not accepted in the airline industry, this attitude that mistakes happen, has to stop in the medical field. Zero preventable deaths is the only acceptable attitude for anyone working in the medical field.
Even when death doesn't happen, medical mistakes exhaust our resources. The most conservative estimated is this cost our country $17.1 Billion dollars annually, others suggest it exceeds $700 billion dollars.4 This figure doesn’t include malpractice lawsuits. This is just the cost...