Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Iatrogenic Conditions

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1572-2



Iatrogenesis refers to any unintended adverse patient outcome due to a health-care intervention not related to the natural course of an illness or injury (Furrow 2012).


Iatrogenic conditions may be both preventable (e.g., medical error, negligence, consumer decisions) and unpreventable (e.g., the side effects of chemotherapy). The study of iatrogenic conditions has largely been in the acute care hospital. Two Institute of Medicine reports describe the staggering prevalence and ramification of medical errors and elevated patient safety as a major concern in health care and among policymakers. The first report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, estimated that preventable medical errors resulted in 44,000 and 98,000 deaths per year at a cost of up to $29 billion in unnecessary health-care expenses, disability, and lost income (Kohn et al. 1999). The second report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, emphasized the need to...


Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Adverse Drug Event Pressure Ulcer Nosocomial Pneumonia Inappropriate Medication 
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References and Further Readings

  1. American Geriatrics Society 2015 Beers Criteria Update Expert Panel. (2015). American Geriatrics Society 2015 updated beers criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63(11), 2227–2246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. Creditor, M. C. (1993). Hazards of hospitalization of the elderly. Annals of Internal Medicine, 118(3), 219–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Furrow, B. R. (2012). Adverse events and patient injury: Coupling detection, disclosure, and compensation. New England Law Review, 46, 437–473.Google Scholar
  5. Goodman, J. C., Villarreal, P., & Jones, B. (2011). The social cost of adverse medical events, and what we can do about it. Health Affairs, 30(4), 590–595.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kohn, L., Corrigan, J., & Donaldson, M. (1999). To err is human: Building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  8. Lo, E., Nicolle, L. E., Coffin, S. E., Gould, C., Maragakis, L. L., Meddings, J., Pegues, D. A., Pettis, A. M., Saint, S., & Yokoe, D. S. (2014). Strategies to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 update. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 35(05), 464–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. National Quality Forum. (2009). Improving patient safety through informed consent for patients with limited health literacy. Washington, DC: National Quality Forum.Google Scholar
  10. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Guidelines. http://www.ismp.org/Tools/guidelines/default.asp Accessed 1 May 2015.
  11. Yokes, D. S., Anderson, D. J., Berenholtz, S. M., Calfee, D. P., Dubberke, E. R., Ellingson, K., Gerding, D. N., Haas, J., Kaye, K. S., Klompas, M., Lo, E., Marschall, J., Mermel, L. A., Nicolle, L., Salgado, C., Bryant, K., Classen, D., Crist, K., Foster, N., Humphreys, E., Padberg, J., Podgorny, K., Vanamringe, M., Weaver, T., Wise, R., & Maragakis, L. L. (2014). A compendium of strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections in acute care hospitals: 2014 updates. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 42(8), 820–828.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, University ParkPAUSA