Activity ID



August 30, 2020

Format Type


CME Credit



CME Provider

Massachusetts Medical Society


In their groundbreaking report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, published in 1999, the Institute of Medicine defined medical errors as the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim. According to that same report by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 people die in hospitals each year as a result of preventable medical errors. More recent studies found that rates for adverse events in hospitals may be much higher than previously measured. This course describes the most common causes of medical mistakes and strategies to improve health care delivery and decrease medical mistakes. Following the informational material a case study is used to help the learner see how medical errors can occur, and the best way to avoid them.

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NOTE: If a Member Board has not deemed this activity for MOC approval as an accredited CME activity, this activity may count toward an ABMS Member Board’s general CME requirement. Please refer directly to your Member Board’s MOC Part II Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program Requirements.

Educational Objectives

Classify medical mistakes and identify which ones are most common.
Describe some of the most common causes of medical mistakes.
Restate the Institute of Medicine principles to improve health care delivery and decrease medical mistakes.
Explain the magnitude of medical errors in the United States and their impact.


Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, Prevention, Adverse events


Medical Knowledge, Patient Care & Procedural Skills, Practice-based Learning & Improvement, Systems-based Practice

CME Credit Type

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Practice Setting

Inpatient, Outpatient, Rural, Urban, VA/Military

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