According to the Indiana Department of Health, the number of reported hospital errors rose from 85 in 2006 to 105 in 2007.
Indiana hospitals and surgury centers must report any of the 27 avoidable medical errors from a list compiled by National Quality Forum, a non-profit group dedicated to improving health care. Some of the medical errors reported include:
- Leaving sponges in patients during surgery, up 24%
- Development of advanced stage pressure sores, 27 separate reports
- Surgery on wrong body part, 23 separate reports
- Medication errors
Robert Wachter, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, said it is difficult to evaluate hospitals in the early years of medical error reporting systems such as Indiana’s. He said jumps in errors could be from more accurate reporting or from more actual errors. Wachter said he was skeptical of hospitals that reported no errors.
I would guess that the number of reported medical errors is extremely low. Some hospitals in the Chicago, Illinois have greater number of medical errors than the entire state of Indiana. Nursing home residents should be aware of hospital problems because nursing homes will frequently send residents to a hospital if their condition worsens or the facility is unable to care for them.
Read more about the Indiana Medical Errors in this Chicago Tribune article here.
For laws related to Indiana nursing homes, look here.