Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients and an estimated 48,000 to 98,000 patients die from medical errors each year. Errors in health care have been estimated to cost more than $5 million per year in a large teaching hospital, and preventable health care-related errors cost the economy from $17 to $29 billion each year. Most of the medical errors are systems- related and not attributable to individual negligence or misconduct. The key to reducing medical errors is to focus on improving the systems of delivering care and not to blame individuals.

It is with this goal that we welcome you to Safe Practices in Patient Care. This serial publication is dedicated to helping nurses caring for the critically and chronically ill to minimize medical errors by presenting clinically and evidenced-based safe practices. Safe Practices is an accredited home-study program and is underwritten by an educational grant from Covidien Nursing Care.


New: Life in the Balance: Blind Placement of Enteric Feeding Tubes

Advisory Board

Arlene Escuro, MS, RD, LD, CNSC
Advanced Practice — Registered Dietitian
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Dorothy B. Doughty, MN, RN, FNP, CWOCN®, FAAN
Program Director Emory University
Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Education Program
Atlanta, GA

Lisa Gorski, RN, CS, MS, CRNI,® FAAN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Covenant Home Health
Milwaukee, MN

Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC
Director of Infection Prevention
Rochester General Health System
Rochester, N.Y.

Denise Nix, RN, MS, CWOCN®
Clinical Practice Specialist
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
Minneapolis, MN.

Safe Practices in Patient Care is published by Saxe Healthcare Communications.
Please direct your correspondence to:
Saxe Healthcare Communications
P.O. Box 1282
Burlington, VT 05402
Fax: (802) 872-755

Each issue of Safe Practices in Patient Care contains a Free Continuing Education activity (CE). The costs for the CE have been funded through an educational grant provided by Covidien.