In this month's issue, the journal introduces the Patient Safety Forum, an occasional feature designed to focus the attention of psychiatric practitioners on the critical topic of medical error. Benjamin C. Grasso, M.D., editor of the series, will invite expert discussants to address key questions. This month four commentators address two questions. First, do we know if psychiatric inpatients are being harmed by errors? Second, what level of confidence should we have in data on the absence or presence of unintended harm? David W. Bates, M.D., M.Sc., summarizes research that his group has conducted over the past ten years on adverse drug events among inpatients. They found a high rate of such events among psychiatric patients, whose care relies heavily on medications. Miles F. Shore, M.D., then discusses aspects of the practice of psychiatry—its solitary nature, for example—that may account for psychiatry's late arrival on the medical error scene. Next, Rosemary Gibson highlights what is known about medication errors from the perspective of patients and their families and describes the need for systematic data collection. Finally, Charles Bosk, Ph.D., addresses some of the significant challenges to be overcome in creating a systems view of error in medical settings (see page 1599).