Medical Errors Flat in 2012

Posted: Updated:

The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 100 medical errors in the state for 2012, which is the same number as the previous year. Bed sores and objects being left in patients after surgery accounted for nearly half the incidents.

September 16, 2013

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Reports of stage three or four pressure ulcers acquired after admission decreased from 41 in 2011 to 30 in 2012, according to the 2012 Medical Errors Report, released today by the Indiana State Department of Health. Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, have been the most reported incident six of the seven years the report has been compiled, including in 2012, and average approximately 30 incidents a year.

As a result of the 2012 meningitis outbreak which was linked to a compounding pharmacy, incidents of death or serious disability associated with contaminated drugs showed a significant increase in the report. Seven of these incidents were reported in 2012, all occurring in an ambulatory surgery center.

"Medical errors are serious and preventable," said State Health Commissioner William VanNess II, M.D. "I hope this report serves as a call to action to health care providers around the state to be even more vigilant in their attention to detail when caring for patients."

The annual report is based on the National Quality Forum's 28 Serious Adverse Events. A total of 289 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, abortion clinics, and birthing centers were surveyed.

A total of 100 incidents were reported in 2012, the same number reported in 2011. The most reported incidents in 2012 were:

-30 stage three or four pressure ulcers acquired after admission to the hospital

-19 incidents of a foreign object retained in a patient after surgery

-15 surgeries performed on the wrong body part

-14 falls resulting in a death or serious disability

In 2006, Indiana became the second state to adopt the National Quality Forum's reporting standards. The reporting standards are not intended as a comprehensive study of medical errors, but rather as representing a broad overview of health care issues. Prevention of medical errors generally requires a system-based approach. By focusing on a few fundamental prevention activities and an organized prevention system, errors can be prevented.

The 2012 Medical Errors Report may be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.

Source: Indiana State Department of Health