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Current Methods May Detect Just 10 Percent Of Medical Errors.

ABC World News (4/7, lead story, 2:45, Sawyer) reported that there is “stunning medical news tonight about how many Americans have something go wrong when they go to the hospital. … One in three patients will face a mistake during a hospital stay. Far worse than we’ve ever been told.”
The Los Angeles Times (4/7, Brown) “Booster Shots” blog reported, “In the April issue of the journal Health Affairs, which focuses on medical error[s], a team of researchers affiliated with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass., report that the number of ‘adverse events’ in hospitals — injuries caused by medical error rather than patients’ underlying conditions — might be 10 times greater than previously measured.” Researchers “used a new method to look for bad outcomes, reviewing medical records for 795 patients at three large US hospitals that had ‘well-established operational patient safety programs.'” They “detected 354 adverse events among the patients — 10 times more than other methods in use.” The researchers concluded that in all, “adverse events occurred in 33.2% of admissions.”
“Trigger Tool” May Help To Better Detect Adverse Events in Hospitals. MedPage Today (4/7, Walsh) reported that “commonly used methods of measuring inpatient safety and adverse events fall far short of the detection rates seen with a ‘trigger’ tool developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement,” according to a study published online in Health Affairs. Researchers found, “in a review of 795 patient records,” that “local hospital reporting systems detected only four adverse events (1%), while the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality’s Patient Safety Indicators identified 35 events (8.99%).”