BREAKING: Big Expose Coming on Medical Errors and Deaths

Hearst Press Release August 09, 2009

This will be developing over the next few days. The Hearst newspaper chain has done a huge expose of the continuing problems with deaths due to preventable errors and infections in hospitals.

The website for the report,, is not yet up and running, but you can see a Google cache of an in-construction site by clicking here.


From their press release about the story:

An estimated 200,000 Americans will die needlessly from preventable medical mistakes and hospital infections this year, according to “Dead By Mistake,” a wide-ranging Hearst national investigation, which began reporting the findings today []. Despite an authoritative federal report 10 years ago that laid out the scope of the problem and urged the federal and state governments and the medical community to take clear and tangible steps to reduce the number of fatal medical errors, a staggering 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors each year and just as many from hospital-acquired infections.

“Dead By Mistake” is the result of an investigation conducted by Hearst newspaper and television journalists.

The report concludes that the industry has made little progress in the last 10 years in really addressing the causes of errors and poor patient care. It has been 10 years since the publication of the ground-breaking study and book To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.

The Healthcare Value Leaders Network (updated site coming soon), a partnership run by the Lean Enterprise Institute and the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, will be putting out some statements to try to help highlight how there ARE some examples of hospitals make dramatic improvements through Lean methods.

It will be interesting to see how much patient safety and quality reach the top of the discussion about health care reform. Will this report cut through the noise about payment reform and coverage? Or will it stay under the radar as a niche issue?

How will the industry react? Discrediting the study – the data or the methodology? Or by reacting to really try to change processes and culture in hospitals?

Will Lean be discussed as part of the solution?

Stay tuned…

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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