Opinion: Why can't medicine seem to fix simple mistakes?
It's long been known that medical errors are a major problem—a national panel concluded more than a decade ago that nearly 100,000 people die each year as a result of errors in hospitals. Despite the resulting national focus on patient safety, patients continue to be harmed and killed by medical shortcuts, inadequate training and breakdowns in communication. Unlike the airline industry, which relies on a safety net of checklists, the medical community has been slow to adopt them in all areas and often puts its faith in the outdated idea that doctors are infallible. Time and again, hospital officials have put in place solutions that seem ridiculously obvious. And, inconceivably, the fixes are frequently ignored or ineffective.
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