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February 2016 Archives

Diagnostic errors not improving as fast as patient safety

Since the Institute of Medicine published its well-known "To Err is Human" report in 1999, hospitals in North Carolina and across the nation have made improving patient safety a priority. However, diagnostic errors have not seen the same amount of improvement, and they still affect one in 20 patients in outpatient facilities.

Some states considering medical malpractice alternatives

Some North Carolina physicians and their patients may know that Georgia and several other states are considering a new administrative system to resolve medical malpractice claims. Proponents of the proposal say it would save money, help victims be compensated more quickly and allow doctors to learn from their mistakes.

Medical errors cost billions of dollars a year

In North Carolina, as well as the rest of the U.S., medical errors in the hospital are the third leading cause of death in the country. They cost the U.S. somewhere between 15 and 19 billion dollars each year. These costs include ancillary services, in-patient and out-patient care, and prescription drug costs.

New test may point to need for chemotherapy in colon cancer

North Carolina residents who have a family history of colon cancer may be interested in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Jan. 21 that has identified a genetic marker that may indicate when certain types of colon cancer can benefit from chemotherapy in the early stages of the disease. Usually, stage 2 colon cancer is treated with surgery but not chemotherapy. However, researchers found that tumors are more likely to reoccur if they are the kind that do not produce the protein CDX2.

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