Hospital errors rising, state investigations dropping

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An analysis by the CT Health I-Team of DPH hospital adverse event reports finds that the number of errors has risen steadily over the last five years. The same investigation finds that DPH investigations of serious medical errors in hospitals have been rare and the numbers are dropping. Of 17 patients who reportedly died or were seriously injured during surgery in 2010, DPH investigated only six. For the first time, hospitals are named individually in DPH’s report. Hospitals with the highest rates of reported errors were New Milford, St. Raphael’s, Sharon, Johnson Memorial and Backus, in that order. It is important to note that the data is based on self-reporting; DPH does not audit hospitals’ error reports (or lack of reports). A national study found that voluntary reporting systems miss 90% of errors.
Ellen Andrews