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Hospitals May be Hazardous to Your Health

Minnesota has one of the finer healthcare systems in the United States, but it has not been immune from the preventable medical mistakes that plague our nation's hospitals.

It is estimated that up to nearly 100,000 persons die each year in U.S. hospitals due to preventable medical mistakes, according to the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Many more patients suffer catastrophic injuries due to preventable medical mistakes, with the highest percentage of those mistakes occuring in emergency rooms, operating rooms, and intensive care units.

Among the world's 11 wealthiest countries, the U.S. ranks dead last for efficiency, equity, and outcomes, according to the 2014 Commonwealth Fund survey. This was the fifth time that the U.S. has finished last in this survey, even though the cost of healthcare in the U.S. is highest among the wealthiest nations.

As a nation, we have every right to expect our healthcare system to deliver better patient care, especially when we pay top dollar for the product.

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