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Estimating preventable hospital deaths: the authors reply
  1. Kaveh G Shojania1,
  2. Mary Dixon-Woods2
  1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kaveh G Shojania, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Rm H468, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada; kaveh.shojania{at}

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We thank Dr James for offering further comments on the debate on estimating deaths due to medical error, and for his clarification of the definition used in his Journal of Patient Safety article.1 Dr James' letter reinforces the need for improved consistency, explicitness and reproducibility in measurement of medical error (and harms associated with it) that we called for in our article.2

One area where such clarity is much needed is in what Dr James describes as errors of omission, which by their nature are more difficult to detect than the slips and …

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