The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reported, “Research published this week in Health Affairs found that as many as one in three admissions have some kind of injury because of medical error, not an underlying condition.” Using a “new way of scanning patient paperwork for notations on problems such as an abnormal lab test, researchers found 10 times more errors among three US hospitals than other methods would indicate.” Although some states have “oversight boards to track medical errors and fine hospitals,” the effectiveness “of each varies.”
The Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch reported, “Federal data released publicly for the first time this week provided a snapshot of adverse events in hospitals.” At CMS, we are “working together with the hospital and consumer community to bring hospital-acquired conditions into the forefront and do all we can to eliminate harm from the very healthcare system intended to heal us,” said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick in a statement.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the American Hospital Association “opposed the release of the Medicare report on so-called adverse events, which had been scheduled last fall but was delayed because of industry concerns.” In an interview, AHA VP Nancy Foster “said it ‘is not a reliable reflection of patient safety issues in hospitals.’ Objections of this kind aren’t new; hospitals often complain when Medicare releases reports about the quality of medical care.” But, officials say the government is “committed to shining a light on things that go wrong in hospitals, often because of poor communication between providers, inadequate follow-up or other breakdowns in the processes of care. ‘Any potentially preventable complication of care is unacceptable,’” said Dr. Berwick.
From the American Association for Justice news release.