The Health Factory by Stpehen Spear [the broken link was removed, I wish people would publish useful thoughts on more reliably designed web sites that care about information for the long term], New York Times opinion piece:
Today, going to an American hospital seems about as safe as parachuting off a bridge. An estimated 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical error, and a nearly equal number succumb to infections they acquire in hospitals. Those rates are unacceptable in the world’s most medically advanced country.
To go from working around problems to identifying and solving them required hospital workers to change the way they worked, from the front lines to the senior levels. But the effects were profound. If the rest of the country’s hospitals follow that example, the national savings would be measured in tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year.