Examining errors, diagnosing problems

 No one likes admitting mistakes. Medical facilities especially do not like it because those errors can cause serious harm, even death, to the patients the facility is charged with caring for.

But admitting mistakes and then resolving to find their cause and prevent them from happening again Dedicated caregivers – medical facilities, doctors, nurses, techs, etc. – already take mistakes serious. Hospitals have for years included procedures for tracking mistakes in order to find ways of avoiding more problems in the future.

Only two states, however, require hospitals to publicly report their serious errors. Minnesota was the first, and Indiana is the other. The state’s first preliminary report of the medical error reporting system was released Tuesday. The intent of the system is to provide reliable data on medical errors and improve patient safety.

According to preliminary data, 77 medical errors were reported for 2006. Seventy-two events happened at hospitals, and five events occurred at ambulatory surgery centers.

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