Friday, August 15, 2008

What is a medical error? Here's a list of 28 things that should never happen in a hospital

This list of 28 errors that should never happen is part of an article on MSNBC: More states shred bills for awful medical errors. The list is created by the National Quality Forum, a nonprofit health care safety agency, it includes:
1. Surgery on the wrong body part.
2. Surgery on the wrong patient.
3. Wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient.
4. Object left in patient after surgery.
5. Death of patient who had been generally healthy during or immediately after surgery for a localized problem.
6. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices or biologics.
7. Patient death or serious disability associated with the misuse or malfunction of a device.
8. Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism.
9. Infant discharged to wrong person.
10. Patient death or serious disability associated with patient disappearing for more than four hours.
11. Patient suicide or attempted suicide resulting in serious disability.
12. Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error.
13. Patient death or serious disability associated with transfusion of blood or blood product of the wrong type.
14. Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy.
15. Patient death or serious disability associated with the onset of hypoglycemia, a drop in blood sugar.
16. Death or serious disability associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia, a blood abnormality, in newborns.
17. Severe pressure ulcers acquired in the hospital.
18. Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy.
19. Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock.
20. Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances.
21. Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn in the hospital.
22. Patient death associated with a fall suffered in the hospital.
23. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails.
24. Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist or other licensed healthcare provider.
25. Abduction of a patient.
26. Sexual assault on a patient.
27. Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault in the hospital.
28. Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or donor egg.

Currently, according to the report, hospitals in 23 states don't charge patients for these errors. Gee, that's nice of them, huh?

See full article here, which includes a nice interactive graphic to view medical error billing policies/laws by state.

2 comments:

Thomas A. Sharon, R.N., M.P.H. said...

This was an informative and well written blog. I might add that there is a great deal of concern over air embolism, because the intravenous tubing and fluid bags and the way they are utilized creates a high risk. In fact every patient that has an IV gets air in the veins. It's really a question of how much. Many doctors will say that it takes about 200 cc to cause a problem. The truth is we just don't know and I'd venture a guess that a lot of times air embolism is over looked as a cause of cardiac arhythmia and death.

Malpractice News Editor said...

In-hospital medical errors are also called "never events"