A program currently being pushed by the Obama administration would give patients the opportunity to report medical mistakes they may have experienced while receiving care by hospitals, nurses, doctors and pharmacists.
Medical mistakes can take many forms, which makes them difficult to track and even harder to prevent. Many doctors respond to the possibility of errors by ordering more tests to confirm their diagnoses or to make sure they've covered every possibility in their patients.
Medical malpractice based on errors by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other staff can pose problems at any stage of medical treatment. However, diagnosis errors or medication errors that occur in an emergency room setting can have a particularly critical impact on a patient's prospects for recovery.
During the health care debate there was a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of aggressive health care. Some people believe that preventative care is the most effective - and cost-efficient - way to treat patients, and that aggressive treatment can do more harm than good.