Managed Care


IOM: Medication Errors Rampant, And Preventable

MANAGED CARE August 2006. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

IOM: Medication Errors Rampant, And Preventable

MANAGED CARE August 2006. ©MediMedia USA

The Institute of Medicine periodically unveils research that resonates long after thousands of other studies and reports published each year about health care have been ground to a pulp for the benefit of the planet, if not planetary intelligence. Crossing the Quality Chasm and To Err Is Human — they have become classics in the health care literature.

There is no way to determine whether the recently released Preventing Medication Errors will attain such lofty heights, though it certainly made at least a splash when it was released July 20. By now, most in health care are familiar with the bullet points: 1.5 million harmed or killed each year due to medication error; at least one medication error per hospital patient per day; 400,000 preventable injuries or deaths in hospitals, 800,000 in nursing homes and long-term facilities; confusing drug labels and packaging.

Despite these eye-popping stats, there doesn't seem to be much for health plans. Sure, there is the usual admonition, voiced this time by Albert Wu, a drug safety expert at Johns Hopkins University and member of the IOM panel that created the report, that "Everyone in the health care system has to wake up and take this more seriously."

Most of the focus seems to be on hospitals and physicians. Just how insurers can help has yet to be revealed, though that advice will most likely be forthcoming. History tells us as much.


2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014
6th Semi-Annual Diagnostic Coverage and Reimbursement Conference Boston December 4–5, 2014
Customer Analytics & Engagement in Health Insurance Chicago December 4–5, 2014
Pharmaceutical and Biotech Clinical Quality Assurance Conference Alexandria, VA December 4–5, 2014
9th Semi-Annual Medical Device Coverage and Reimbursement Conference San Diego December 5, 2014
8th Annual Medical Device Clinical Trials Conference Chicago December 8–9, 2014
HealthIMPACT Southeast Tampa, FL January 23, 2015