Medical Errors - Complexity and Solutions

An updated version of this essay appears on the Nothing but the Truth about Quality book.

Recently, a JAMA study revealed that medical errors cost the US at least $9 billion in extra charges and treatment, and kill over 32,000 people, every year. Also recently, a Misys software flaw was discovered, "work-around-ed", and patched. Still more recently, everyone has been talking about getting their processes "Lean." What's the unifying thread here? Complexity and its many solutions: automation, computerization, and simplification. Examine the stories of the day and understand the source of today's problems - and maybe even understand where problems will occur in the future.