The issue of patient safety bubbled to the forefront of American healthcare in 1999 when the Institute of Medicine released "To Err Is Human" — a landmark report on the startling frequency of medical errors. Since then, the issue has not faded. Recent studies say 200,000 to 400,000 die every year from medical errors. By these numbers, medical mistakes are the third-leading cause of death in America.
So what do we do? How do surgeons view patient safety? And what can patients do to ensure their safety?
Dr. Charles Mick, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and former president of the North American Spine Society, will answer almost anything about patient safety and what he sees as the barriers to a safer experience for the patient.
ProPublica reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, who just published a first-of-its-kind database of nearly 17,000 surgeons and their complication rates, will join Dr. Mick. The Surgeon Scorecard database analyzed 2.3 million Medicare records of eight elective procedures and found out how important it is to pick the right surgeon over the "good" hospital.
"It's long overdue," Dr. Mick said about ProPublica's analysis. "Hopefully, it will be a step toward a culture where transparency and open discussion of mistakes, complications and errors will be the norm and not something that's hidden."
If you or a loved one has been harmed while undergoing a medial procedure, share your story.
For all of ProPublica's reporting on this subject, go to the patient safety investigations page.