Medical errors: excess hospital costs and lengths of stay

J Healthc Qual. Mar-Apr 2004;26(2):42-8; quiz 48-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1945-1474.2004.tb00484.x.


To focus on effective patient safety strategies in an environment of intense competition for resources, a method of quantifying the effect of potential sources of medical errors was developed. This study assessed excess length of stay (LOS) and hospitalization costs associated with patients who experienced errors. The distribution of the errors occurring within the mean LOS experienced by others with the same diagnosis and severity was also examined. Patients with errors had longer stays and greater costs when compared to controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost Control
  • Education, Continuing
  • Health Services Research
  • Hospital Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay*
  • Medical Errors / economics*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration