Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 250,000 people each year. But the problem is not being tracked widely, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the BMJ.
When a medical error results in death, the delivery of care issue that led to the death should be tracked, said Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine professor, Martin Makary and research fellow Michael Daniel in their analysis. But the problem is not currently reported explicitly as a cause of death to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or on death certificates. And it is not easily tracked through the diagnostic and procedural coding system used by hospitals and other providers.