Medical Errors Increase in 2013

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The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 111 medical errors in the state for 2013, up from 100 in 2012. The most reported incidents were bed sores and foreign objects being left in patients after surgery.

September 24, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- The Indiana State Department of Health today released the 2013 Indiana Medical Error Reporting System annual report. Reports of stage three or four pressure ulcers acquired after admission increased from 30 in 2012 to 45 in 2013. Pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores, have been the most reported incident seven of the eight years the report has been compiled and average approximately 32 incidents a year.

"The purpose of the Medical Error Reporting System is to identify sources of significant opportunities to improve quality of care for Hoosiers," said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. "This is part of the Indiana State Department of Health’s continuing efforts to improve health and care for Hoosiers."

The annual report is based on the National Quality Forum’s 28 Serious Adverse Events. A total of 293 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, abortion clinics, and birthing centers were surveyed.

A total of 111 incidents were reported in 2013. The most reported incidents in 2013 were:

• 45 stage three or four pressure ulcers acquired after admission to the hospital

• 27 incidents of a foreign object retained in a patient after surgery

• 18 surgeries performed on the wrong body part

• 12 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 2013 Medical Error Reporting System report may be found on the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.

Source: Indiana State Department of Health