CHAPTER 2Perfect Phrases for Patients Suffering from a Medical Error

Errors are more common in medicine than healthcare professionals would like to believe. The 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine entitled “To Err Is Human” showed that there are between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable deaths and more than one million injuries each year due to medical errors. This report defined a medical error as the “failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.”

Patients who have suffered from a medical error have a right to know what has happened to them and why. Multiple organizations, such as the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, ...

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