In military parlance, the fog of war refers to the situational ambiguity of the battlefield; in effect, the phrase encapsulates all the different variables which may or may not kill you while fighting the enemy, whether that is cosentino wire or friendly fire.
In healthcare, we too have the fog of war.
And although the fog of healthcare is different, it’s still deadly.
According to the Journal of Patient Safety, 210,000 to 440,000 people die each year from some sort of medical error; which would be, unbelievably, the third-leading cause of death in America today.
I don’t know about you, but 440,000 people are a lot of people.
In Kansas City, the city where I’m from, the population is 460,000. In my mind, juxtaposing the population of KC to the victims of medical malpractice is eye popping!
And just in case your eyes haven’t exploded yet, I just want you to think of this: the two atomic bombs which razed Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed somewhere between 150,000 to 300,000 people.
If the Journal of Patient Safety is even close, we essentially drop two to three Hiroshima bombs a year at home, not abroad.
We’re human, we make mistakes, but 440,000 mistakes isn’t just an accident, it’s a Holocaust.