The Department of Health and Human Services issued a new report that reveals just how many errors go unreported in the hospital system every year. The study targeted hospitalized Medicare patients and the findings are startling: only one out of every seven hospital errors, accidents, or adverse events are reported by staff.
Hospitals required to track errors to receive Medicare funding
The study notes that most hospitals have a protocol in place for staff to immediately report errors, but the results revealed that despite these reporting systems, most employees did not report errors that caused significant harm to patients. Many errors, including fatal errors, were not reported, the study finds.
Types of hospital errors that go unreported
It is estimated that over 130,000 Medicare recipients suffered an adverse hospital event in one month. Hospital errors included:
- medication errors,
- hospital acquired infections,
- severe bedsores,
- overuse of painkillers, and
- improper use of blood thinners.
What’s the most common reason for underreporting errors?
Hospitals that receive funds from Medicare are required to track errors that cause significant patient harm, but it’s clear that most errors in the hospital still go unreported. According to the study, the reason why errors are not reported, even with proper systems in place, is that employees do not recognize significant harmful events that require reporting.
How can you hold a hospital accountable for mistakes?
Medication errors, dosage errors, and other prescription errors are all too common in hospitals. If you are suffering the effects of a medication mistake, contact our prescription error lawyers to start investigation of your case immediately. You can also order our free book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay For Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.