Iowa hospitals, medical clinics and nursing homes are the subject of a newstudy to find ways to reduce medical errors. Half-a-million dollars infederal funds will finance the year-long study. Experts from the Universityof Iowa, the state Department of Public Health and the U-S Centers forDisease Control will direct the exam. Dr. Charles Helms of the Universityof Iowa College of Medicine is chairman of the Iowa Medical Society’s taskforce on patient safety. Helms says “any error that hurts a patient is oneerror too many.” Iowa Department of Public Health director Stephen Gleasonsays doctors and health care institutions will be granted anonymity todampen fears about being sued by patients or the families of patients whowere harmed by a medical error. A recent federal study found 98-thousandAmericans die each year from medical errors — making medical error the5th-leading cause of death in the U-S.
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