Information concerning the deficiencies of US medical care has been
accumulating. The fact that more than 40 million people have no health insurance
is well known. The high cost of the health care system is considered to be
a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health
results from more expensive care, despite evidence from a few studies indicating
that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive contraindicated care.1 In addition, with the release of the Institute of
Medicine (IOM) report "To Err Is Human,"2 millions
of Americans learned, for the first time, that an estimated 44,000 to 98,000
among them die each year as a result of medical errors.
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