Medical Mistakes Under Serious Review

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September 29, 2014 — Network Indiana — Indiana hospitals say they‘re making headway in a two-decade campaign to reduce the number of medical errors, despite a state report showing an uptick.

Last week‘s annual state summary of medical mistakes counted 111 incidents last year, from bed sores to surgery on the wrong body part. That‘s one for every 44-thousand patients, but it‘s 11 more than the year before, and the most since the report was created in 2007.

Indiana Hospital Association president Doug Leonard says hospitals never stop working on new procedures to minimize errors. He points to a nearly universal decision to refuse to perform elective early deliveries of babies, after research showed giving birth early resulted in significantly more health problems.

In every year of the report, bed sores and objects being left inside surgical patients have been the two most common errors, with bed sores leading the way every year but one. 2013 saw a record 45 such incidents.

Despite the persistence of the same problems, Leonard says none of the problems tracked by the report is unsolvable. Four out of five Indiana hospitals and clinics were error-free in 2013.


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