California Hospitals Disclose Preventable Medical Errors
Hospitals in California between July 2007 and May reported 1,002 cases of serious medical errors involving patients, according to data gathered by the California Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles Times reports. The reports were the first made under a 2006 state law that requires hospitals to disclose to regulators all cases of 28 different types of preventable mistakes that resulted in significant patient injury or death.
According to the Times, the state health department has fined 10 hospitals about $25,000 each for the preventable errors. During the disclosure period, 466 patients developed severe bedsores; foreign objects, such as surgical equipment, were left inside 145 patients; 34 patients died while under anesthesia; and physicians performed the wrong procedure or operated on the wrong body part or patient in 41 cases.
The health department has until 2015 to begin posting the information online, but some officials said they hope to publish the information earlier (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 6/30).
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