Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Big Business Moves to Cut Medical Errors in Hospitals


According to Leapfrog estimates released Wednesday, if all the nation's nonrural hospitals took up the three initiatives, 58,000 deaths would be prevented each year, as would 522,000 medication errors. But right now, the group estimates that less than 2% of hospitals use computerized physician medication orders and that only 15% of patients go to ICUs that meet its physician staffing standard.

Hospitals indicate they aren't on the fast track to taking up the Leapfrog recommendations. Anne Berdahl, senior associate director of health policy at the American Hospital Association (AHA), tells WebMD that the standards hold "some potential promise" but are still relatively new. For example, computerized physician drug entry systems are still evolving, she said, with no "off-the-shelf" software yet available for hospitals. "It's complicated. We think that hospitals should make their own decisions."

The AHA on Wednesday put out a report on the computer systems that claimed, "Studies demonstrating improvements in patient outcome are limited, as are studies of the costs and success factors related to [using these systems]."

The Leapfrog Group also defended its use of positive public relations for hospitals that comply with its standards, rather than the "shtick" of lower payment rates or no contracts for hospitals that fail to meet its measure. Bruce Bradley, director of managed care plans at GM, said, "[Hospitals and their health professionals] are not people that need a shtick. These are good people."

The shtick may appear, however, in the future. Jeffrey Kang, MD, the top quality official of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), which runs Medicare, tells WebMD that he supports the Leapfrog Group's initiative. "I think the evidence is there. It's a good start -- they're taking a market-based approach." But he says, "There is an outstanding question that HCFA will be attempting to wrestle with -- whether you actually make that a regulatory requirement. That's something that we're going to be internally debating."


1 | 2

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing