Hover over the graphic to learn about the different types of medical harm and their impacts on consumers.
More information, and a PDF version of this graphic, can be found at our medical harm resources page.
Medication errors harm more than 1.5 million people every year. They can occur during the ordering, administering, transcribing or dispensing of drugs. The most frequent mistakes are in labeling, incorrect dosages and medications that should have been given but were not.
Also known as “serious reportable events,” these are preventable and costly medical errors that cause significant patient harm and should never happen. They include wrong site surgery or an object left inside a patient after surgery, blood incompatibility, malfunctioning medical devices and some infections.
Injurious hospital infections that could reasonably have been prevented using evidence-based practices. CDC estimates more than 720,000 hospital patients are infected each year and 75,000 of them die from the infections.
Diagnostic errors are not rigorously defined, measured or reported. Nonetheless, it is estimated that diagnoses may be wrong 10-20% of the time.
It is time we take action to reduce medical harm!