The American Medical Association will conduct a "thorough analysis" of the Institute of Medicine's landmark report on medical errors before following any of the report's recommendations.
The report, released last year, found that up to 98,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical errors in the nation's hospitals. The report lit a fire under Congress and the healthcare industry to find ways to improve patient safety in all care settings.
At the AMA's annual meeting in Chicago earlier this month, the 550-member House of Delegates, which sets policy for the AMA, voted to study the IOM report over the next six months. The delegates will discuss it in detail at their next meeting in December.
Some physicians felt the AMA should have reacted more quickly.
"The AMA must address this, but let's not do it with paranoia," said Albert Ellman, M.D., a physician from Albany, N.Y.
"This is a chance to get the monkey off our backs," said Lonnie Bristow, M.D., a former president of the AMA. "We were out in front on this issue, and we should remain in front."