According to an article in the January 2013 issue of Critical Care Medicine, patients and their families are rarely told when there is a medication error in the hospital. Eight hundred and forty thousand voluntarily reported medication errors from 537 US hospitals over 6 years were evaluated. You can just imagine how many errors there were that went unreported. How many MDs would be eager to admit their patient was the victim of a serious drug error, especially if they were at fault?
If you do the math from this report it becomes apparent that there were an average of only 261 errors per year at each hospital. There would be some days when this many medication errors are made a our largest hospitals. So, the prevalence of this problem is far more than is what was reported. Some estimates in the medical literature say that there are nearly 100 unreported errors for each voluntarily reported mistakes.
The practice of medicine is unrealistically complicated when it is practiced properly, especially when patients are given 10-30 different drugs when in the hospital. Our MDs deserve a lot of credit for doing as well as they do for people sick enough to be in the hospital.