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Ten years ago a government study showed nearly 100,000 people die annually due to preventable medical errors and malpractice. A recent patient safety conference showed hospitals still have a way to go to put patient safety first.

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We've written about "never events" - a term healthcare providers, insurance companies and hospital administrators use for malpractice that should, as the term implies, never happen.  And its well documented that the Institute of Medicine reports nearly 100,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical mistakes.

But I just came across a term I'd never heard of - "scribblers".  That's what medical and hospital personnel call people - hospital patients and their family members - who write everything down.  They take notes on the medications, treatment, conversations with the doctors and nurses.  According to one presenter at a recent patient safety conference, they make the hospital staff nervous.

And more importantly, ten years after the government study, hospitals aren't doing a whole lot better, according to a 2009 hospital patient safety survey.    

Read more about the patient safety conference at http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/business/health_med_fit/article/MEDI28_20100527-222805/347416/

And if one of your loved ones is in the hospital, be a scribbler. 

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