Will the Department of Veterans Affairs finally get it right? Will the federal agency finally stop covering up medical mistakes and poor care? We don't yet know the answer to those questions, but the VA is pledging an overhaul of its reporting policies; an effort it says will weed out health care workers who deliver substandard care.
Nearly 20 years have gone by since a doctor was called to the witness stand to testify about the surgical skills of his partner. The surgeon was asked in a medical malpractice trial if his partner's work had ever been substandard. "No, never," he replied.
Studies show that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and medical errors take many forms.