According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, every year over 400,000 people die from preventable medical error and scores more are harmed. In light of this, it can be said with certainty that Medical error is a serious issue in health care, and all of us deserve to be better informed about when medical error has occurred and about our providers’ performance records.
Unfortunately, only a handful of states have laws which require hospitals to report medical errors to the public at present. Consumers are able to find information about medical errors at the federal level on Hospital Compare, a website run by Medicare, but that information is limited. Recent efforts under the Affordable Care Act have tried to increase transparency, but time will tell whether this is successful.