Medical Error Rates In Outpatient Settings

outpatient center mistakes

Up To 80% of Outpatient Medical Errors Are Preventable

Medical errors aren’t just a concerning issue for big hospital networks. A new white paper released in 2020 by the nonprofit Foundation for the Innovation and Development of Health Safety shows that as many as 4 in 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient healthcare settings (globally), with up to 80% of those medical errors preventable.

The whitepaper research highlights included:

  • Between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths occur each year in low- and middle-income countries as a result of poor quality of care.
  • When assessing the cost of medical errors, the burden in lost productivity amounts to somewhere between $1.4 to 1.6 trillion dollars a year.
  • Computerized physician order entry systems, electronic health record systems, and bar code electronic medication administration systems have demonstrated success and cut down errors by over 50%.
  • Surgical and perioperative events consistently rank as the top cause for the most fatalities in the U.S.
  • The number of adverse drug effects is increasing.

In primary and ambulatory care, where more than 8 billion patient encounters occur annually in the 34 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, nearly 20% to 25% of patients are harmed in developed and developing countries.

Review of the 3 Most Common Medical Errors

Health care is complex and, unfortunately, leaves a lot of room for error especially when systems are overworked and understaffed. The white paper also focuses on three of the most common incidences of medical error:

  1. Medication errorsand adverse drug events
  2. Surgical errors, both during surgeryand perioperative events
  3. Misdiagnosis mistakes, including misidentified illness and incorrect treatment

We suggest our interested readers review the Foundation for the Innovation and Development of Health Safety white paper here. The topic was recently released at the group’s first annual international symposium that focused on patient safety in a digital world held at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The seminar brought together digital health leaders and physicians from the U.S., U.K., and Spain to discuss the global issue of patient safety.

Levin & Perconti attorneys found this new whitepaper helpful in understanding the future cost and growing impact medical errors have on patients, medical technologies, and health care systems. We help Illinois residents recover from medical malpractice and receive the reimbursement they need for rehabilitation and life-changing medical circumstances. We’ve seen many people struggle with traumatic medical errors, and will support you through the entire litigation process.

Free Consultation: Levin & Perconti Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Chicago

The attorneys of Levin & Perconti have secured more settlements over $500,000 than any other law firm in Illinois over the last year. If you were a patient at an Illinois health system and suspect medical negligence may have contributed to further injury or the death of a loved one, please contact Levin & Perconti toll-free at 877-374-1417 in Chicago at (312) 332-2872 for a FREE consultation.

Also read: Documentary Gives Emotional and Evidence-Based Insight Into Medical Mistakes


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