Hospital error rate in Minnesota isn't improving

  • Article by: JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2013 - 7:58 AM

Minnesota's latest annual report on adverse medical events shows that after nine years of owning up to mistakes, hospitals and surgery centers are still making the same rare but severe errors in patient care.

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axadistJan. 31, 13 1:01 AM

one is too much... a well and practiced doctor would not allow that. join the back of the line MN DR's.

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skyblue90Jan. 31, 13 2:28 AM

If it's true that the error rate is only static because more events qualify as reportable this year, that probably qualifies for more coverage in the article than a brief mention in the last sentence.

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simplicity1Jan. 31, 13 3:20 AM

Speaking to this at a national level: We've all heard of the Military Industrial Complex... there is also something known as the Healthcare Industrial Complex. The number one and two most powerful lobbies in Washington DC. The error problem is not improving because the public is not aware of the danger and government refuses to take the needed steps to force correction or to inform the public. There should be a billboard out front of each hospital showing their error rate (right next to the waiting time clock). Healthcare is one of the most arrogant and wasteful industry in the nation. It has a river of cash flowing thru it and nobody will dare be the boulder in the stream. It hides behind fancy words, traditions, muttered reporting, poor training, and toothless enforcement of standards. 1500 people per week in this country is how bad it is... but it's all hidden behind those super nice comforting TV commercials. The problem will not improve until the public has the raw data readily available, thus allowing the consumer to be informed. Competitive forces will clean it up... if the media and government dare show us the realtime data, including names and addresses.

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jcinmnJan. 31, 13 6:27 AM

Does this have anything to do with the way they are trained and treated out of medical school? The fabled 24 hr "on call" where they are worked to the point of exhaustion? Does this training affect them later in their careers where they are habitually working past the point of better judgement? Maybe it is time that the training practices for MDs need to be addressed so they develop better work habits. Just a thought

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turgidJan. 31, 13 7:27 AM

"Hospital leaders are hoping for signs of progress from the Mille Lacs Health System, which is testing infrared motion sensors to detect patients' movements before falls occur."... Also, several companies are competing to develop brain electrodes to monitor patient's decisions before they decide to get up. Other companies are developing DNA testing to determine which patients are most likely to get up without warning. Some of these companies are also looking into whether floors might be made out of space age spongy material. Others are wiring experimental floors with tracking systems that record all patient foot prints in a computer that can develop computer modeling to predict when a patient will get up. Lasers are also being used in tests to check patients for possible leaning. Health care companies have hired people to study the cost effectiveness of purchasing some or all of these systems and lobbyists are being enlisted for the coming fight with the government on payment. In other news, Nurse Ethyl will no longer be able to check on the patient every 30 minutes, because she just had her hours cut to pay for all of the above.

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GRUETZJan. 31, 13 7:34 AM

I am sure with another 30 million "added" to the " covered" in this country that Obamacare will make it all better.

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martin64Jan. 31, 13 8:24 AM

I am sure with another 30 million "added" to the " covered" in this country that Obamacare will make it all better. - You don't have to be covered at all. Just quit your health insurance and pay for your own health care. That way you can choose the best and you won't have to worry about becoming a statistic.

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carl12345Jan. 31, 13 9:38 AM

I don't think this scratches the surface, because sometimes when things go wrong, they won't tell you what happened and you're not in the shape to confront it. I had a 1 hour surgery locally that took 8-9 hours and nobody would tell me what happened, my doctor denied I was ever admitted (didn't even bill for stay), the hospital has no record that I stayed and wasn't just served outpatient. When I asked for the doctors surgery dications, they didn't exist and when they finally did (after asserting), there were no details and some of the info seemed incorrect. It was terrifying to have something go so differently than expected and not have her own up to it. My favorite event was dragging my husband into a room during the process and asking him my wishes. If a doctor doesn't talk or listen to you, drop them - don't ever schedule surgery with them. If they can't communicate, what else isn't going to happen?

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rafannonJan. 31, 1310:05 AM

The republicans want to reform healthcare tort...I realize some people sue unnecessarily, but when you have a major screw up, you deserve to be made whole again. You wouldnt need tort reform if doctors would be more careful

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idphysicianJan. 31, 1310:11 AM

Falls are especially difficult to prevent in the modern era, even with frequent rounding by nursing and staff because increasing proportions of those who are admitted to hospitals are feeble elderly patients who are confused or demented. Despite increased vigilance on the part of staff, things like soft restraints and bed alarms will not keep these at-risk patients from trying to climb out of bed. The other at-risk group is the significantly obese, where the staff literally are not strong enough to keep the patient from falling once they lose their balance. Of course there is always room for improvement, but many of the errors, while unfortunate, are exceedingly difficult to prevent and don't involve negligence.

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