Join us Wednesday, August 15 at 3:00pm ET for a live, interactive tweetchat with Mathew Loxton, MKM, CKM, on medical errors as a leading cause of death in the United States, based on Loxton’s blog post “The Third Rail: Medical Error as a Leading Cause of Death.” Topics to be discussed are subject to change but will likely include:

  • What makes the declaration of medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the US a controversial statement to make.
  • The wide-ranging estimates in mortality due to medical errors found in several studies (,,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx, and why it is important not to denounce these numbers as wild guesses or an underhanded attack on physicians.
  • Why Loxton states that–although both estimates and counts of deaths from medical errors are not trustworthy–the numbers aren’t as relevant as the fact that people are dying of medical error and we have the tools to reduce these numbers.
  • Why it is that Physician’s Weekly blogger Skeptical Scalpel says in his recent blog post that medical errors will never be 100% eliminated.
  • Factors known to cause medical errors resulting in morbidity and mortality.
  • How quality-improvement tools, such as the “five why’s” and the Ishikawa “fishbone” diagram, can help find the root causes of medical errors leading to fatalities.
  • Why it is practical and effective to focus on near misses in finding causes of medical errors and asses how error is reported and captured as contributory causes of death.
  • Other approaches to minimizing medical errors that seem valid and likely to be effective.
  • More…

How to Join the Chat

  1. Log into your Twitter account. Don’t have an account? Where have you been?! Just kidding, we don’t judge, but you should get one! It’s easy to create, and free. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. A couple minutes before 3:00pm ET on August 15, Search Twitter (top right of every Twitter page) for #PWChat.
  3. On the search results page, click Latest at the top left. This will show you all the latest tweets using the #PWChat hashtag. The page will automatically update every couple minutes, letting you know how many new tweets there are using the #PWChat hashtag. Alternately, you can refresh the page every minute or so to see any new tweets using the #PWChat hashtag.
  4. Answer questions, reply to other’s comments, or make a comment of your own as much and as often as you like. Just make sure to leave room in include #PWChat to make sure what you tweet is included in the chat. Otherwise, it won’t be seen.
  5. While you’re at it, be sure to follow @physicianswkly and @mloxton!

About Matthew Loxton

Matthew Loxton, MKM, CKM, is a principal analyst at Whitney, Bradley & Brown, an innovative solutions provider to the federal government. He is also a #PWChat regular, PW blogger & PW feature author (, and host of the #MEQAPI tweetchat series, held most Thursdays at 3:00PM Eastern. Matthew describes himself as a healthcare analyst specializing in quality assurance, monitoring & evaluation, process improvement, analytics, and Lean Six Sigma, as well as a qualitative magician, quantitative alchemist, and board member at Blue Faery Liver Cancer Association. He also runs the blog at, with MEQAPI standing for Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), Quality Assurance (QA), and Process Improvement (PI).