According to data from the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 people die and 974,000 are injured in U.S. hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical error. Such errors led to negative consequences such as additional days spent in the hospital, loss of ability to manage daily living activities, organ damage, loss of a limb and death. In addition to the physical and emotional impacts of medical error on both patients and healthcare providers, failures often have large financial consequences. In fact, studies show that the financial cost of these errors is estimated at $17-29 billion per year.
The Joint Commission for Hospital Accreditation reviewed nearly 2500 patient cases and found that 70% of negative medical outcomes resulted from ineffective teamwork and/or communication. In response to these and similar findings, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for significant changes in the way health care providers are educated and trained in order to decrease the unacceptable rate of medical errors prevalent in the United States.