Medical Errors


4.5 out of 5 (57 Reviews)



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Expiration Date

28 Feb 2026

Last Reviewed

1 Mar 2023

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of medical care, whether or not it is evident or harmful to the patient. Among the problems that commonly occur during providing health care are adverse drug events and improper transfusions, misdiagnosis, under and overtreatment, surgical injuries and wrong-site surgery, suicides, restraint-related injuries or death, falls, burns, pressure ulcers, and mistaken patient identities. High error rates with serious consequences are most likely to occur in intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency departments. Medical errors are also associated with extremes of age, new procedures, urgency, and the severity of the medical condition being treated. This activity outlines common sources of medical errors and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in improving the care of the patient and enhancing safety by using techniques to avoid errors.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Describe common sources of medical errors.
  • Review the locations where medical errors are most likely to occur.
  • Explain the meaning of a medical error.
  • Outline interprofessional team strategies for enhancing care coordination and communication to avoid medical errors and improve outcomes.


StatPearls requires everyone who influences the content of an educational activity to disclose relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. All relevant conflict(s) of interest have been mitigated. Hover over contributor names for financial disclosures. None of the planners of this educational activity have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
American Board of Pediatrics
  • Professionalism/Patient Safety/Other Skills

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content in the activity.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment.
  6. Obtain a certificate.

For information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.


Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on StatPearls specifically disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearlsand and Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls andQuillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements: Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls andQuillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Equal Access Institutions. 


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.


    r. on 12/10/2020

    Sabrina C. on 2/19/2021

    Darcey A. on 3/15/2021

    Bhupendra M. on 4/27/2021

    ayodeji a. on 7/14/2021

    Lam K. on 9/8/2021

    Stephen w. on 9/29/2021

    Lisa R. on 10/11/2021

    Valencia N. on 10/11/2021

    This is very informative and educational. I am glad my investment is worth it.

    SHIRLEY A. on 11/30/2021

    Kenneth W. on 11/30/2021

    pamela n. on 12/3/2021

    Paula N. on 12/5/2021

    margaret c. on 12/11/2022

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    Emile D. on 12/27/2021

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    OSVALDO C. on 10/25/2022

    William L. on 10/13/2022

    Adenrele F. on 10/31/2022

    William W. on 11/13/2022

    Dwayne W. on 11/17/2022

    Insufficient med errors credit for florida

    Thor T. on 12/18/2022

    Laura B. on 11/30/2022

    James w. on 12/7/2022

    Catherine S. on 12/20/2022

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    Manijeh Z. on 2/26/2023

    Lynn J. on 3/15/2023

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