Preventable health care mistakes flat in Minn.by Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Preventable health care mistakes in Minnesota held steady last year.
Hospitals and surgical centers reported 305 so-called adverse events in 2010. That's 4 more than the previous year.
The errors ranged from preventable bedsores and falls, to forgetting to remove every sponge used during surgery. Ten of these mistakes resulted in patient death, and 97 resulted in serious injury.
Diane Rydrych, assistant director with the Minnesota Health Department, said the good news is that Minnesota hospitals held on to successes from the previous year in reducing falls and pressure ulcers.
"But we're not where we want to be and we think that the numbers can be lower and should be lower," she said. "We don't want this point of holding steady to become a plateau that we can't get off of."
Rydrych said the Health Department is concerned that many health care leaders may not be making changes that will prevent harm to patients.
"We also see cases where people aren't able to speak up about risks that they see," Rydrych said. "They aren't able to speak up about problems because they either don't know what's going to happen in response to that or they're worried there will be no response."
Roughly 200 facilities are covered by the state's adverse health events reporting requirement. The 305 health care mistakes were reported by 60 hospitals and two surgical centers.