Matt Bivens, MD, wrote an excellent piece on the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report on patient safety in the ED. His article, “AHRQ Errors Report was ‘Outright Unconscionable,’” addressed the bad methodologies that have always plagued patient safety research. (EMN. 2023;45:1; https://bit.ly/41yFpXC.) These go all the way back to a 1978 study by Don Harper Mills for the California Medical Association that intended to evaluate the feasibility of no-fault malpractice insurance.
Patient safety researchers have always chosen methods that amplify the scare data to get headlines but also to promote the role of policy and regulatory wonks who will save the populace from incompetent physicians and nurses and provide impetus for bureaucratic government-controlled and financed health care.
Thanks to Dr. Bivens for his excellent essay on AHRQ's irresponsible and deceptive panic mongering and what every professional organization in EM thought was junk science.
John Dale Dunn, MD