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Medical Errors

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NEWS
December 9, 1999
This is an edited excerpt of a Boston Globe editorial, which was published Tuesday.FATAL errors in the health care system are often less easily identified than the mistakes that cause fatal airline crashes, but they might be better prevented if they were treated as methodically and nonjudgmentally as the latter.A report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences suggests a new approach that is attracting increasing attention. Massachusetts is one of the leaders in the effort to prevent such tragic mistakes, but it is too soon to assess the work of the Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, a voluntary campaign spearheaded by the Massachusetts Hospital Association.
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NEWS
By Marie McCarren | June 25, 2013
Everything I knew about how to behave in a hospital I learned from watching "ER. " At the fictional County General Hospital, the most helpful thing a family member could do was stay out of the way. So when my husband was in the ER, I even moved my chair closer to the corner of the treatment room to be out of the way of staff taking care of my husband. This would prove to be an ineffective strategy. My husband had an uncommon cause of massive gastrointestinal bleeding. In his five days in the hospital, he got seven units of blood.
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NEWS
By Boston Globe | November 4, 1992
Uninsured individuals who have to rely on free care at hospitals are more likely to suffer medical injury because of substandard care than patients who have health insurance, a new study has found.Researchers weren't certain why physicians were more likely to make medical errors in treating patients without insurance coverage. But they said one factor might be that such patients more often receive treatment in emergency rooms, where errors are more common.A second study showed that uninsured patients also are more likely to be hospitalized for illnesses that could have been prevented or cut short if the individuals had had access to adequate outpatient treatment.
BUSINESS
Liz F. Kay | September 6, 2011
Much of the challenge of avoiding unnecessary medical bills or contesting possible errors stems from the lack of transparency. In most cases, patients rely on the expertise of medical professionals and the staff in their offices to schedule appointments and have no way to compare whether what they're being charged is appropriate. But Eileen's column extolling the assistance of the Health Education and Advocacy Unit of the Maryland Attorney General's office includes two excellent tips that can help you avoid unnecessary bills down the line.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | February 23, 2000
WASHINGTON -- President Clinton ordered yesterday that all hospitals in the United States take steps to reduce medical errors that kill tens of thousands of people each year. The president said he supports mandatory reporting of all such errors. Clinton called for a nationwide system of reporting medical errors, somewhat like the system used by airlines to report aviation safety hazards. Rather than imposing a federal requirement now, he is pressuring the states to adopt reporting requirements within three years.
NEWS
By Julie Bell and Julie Bell,SUN STAFF | October 8, 2003
A handful of common medical complications kill more than 32,500 U.S. hospital patients every year and add $9.3 billion annually to hospital charges, estimates one of the first studies to put a price tag on unexpected harm to patients. The study, which appears in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, estimates that the same 18 categories of injury -- ranging from postoperative sepsis to surgical tools left in patients' bodies -- force people to extend hospital stays by a combined 2.4 million days a year.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2003
For all the focus on reducing medical errors in recent years, the cultural changes that institutions must make to keep patients safe have been slow to develop. The gravity of the problem was highlighted this week in the case of a 17-year-old girl who was given a heart and lungs from an organ donor of the wrong blood type at Duke University Hospital. More than three years after the Institute of Medicine released a headline-grabbing report on the frequency of errors and a plan for reducing them, some medical experts say progress has been limited.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | December 14, 2003
During those frightening first days in the hospital, Sorrel King came to trust the doctors and nurses looking after her 18-month- old daughter. Hooked up to tubes and machines, sterile dressings covering her burns, Josie looked nothing like the little girl who danced through life wearing ladybug shoes and a gap-toothed grin. The medical team at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center constantly monitored Josie's mixture of drugs, watched for signs of infection, performed skin grafts to repair the damage from her bathtub accident.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | August 2, 2002
Maryland may soon require hospitals to report all medical errors that seriously harm patients - a measure that regulators hope will curb mistakes like the chemotherapy overdoses recently given to two patients at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The state health department has been drafting the mandatory-reporting regulations for several months and hopes to have them in place by early next year, an official said yesterday. Carol Benner, director of the state's Office of Health Care Quality, said she expects the rules will require hospitals to report all mistakes that cause serious injury or death or require corrective treatment.
NEWS
By Margaret E. O'Kane | August 12, 2003
WASHINGTON -- Republicans, backed by the American Medical Association, are lobbying for malpractice reform that caps payouts to patients for pain and suffering. The medical establishment and the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, say that fear of excessive payouts in malpractice cases is driving health care costs up through higher insurance premiums for doctors and unnecessary tests ordered by anxious physicians. But Democrats and patient advocates oppose any reform that limits liability verdicts to, say, $250,000 per incidence, arguing that this is nowhere near enough to compensate patients for damages due to bodily harm caused by medical error.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2010
The panel that accredits U.S. hospitals has asked Johns Hopkins Hospital to review its security measures — and potential improvements — in the wake of the shooting of a doctor by the distraught son of a patient last week. Hopkins has 45 days from when Dr. David B. Cohen was shot to submit a report to the Joint Commission, the independent, nonprofit panel that offers accreditation for more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. The commission says it identifies "sentinel events" such as postoperative complications or medical errors and uses them to improve the safety and quality of health care provided to the public.
NEWS
By Drew Greenblatt | August 18, 2008
Health care reform is a divisive issue in Washington, but there is wide agreement on one solution to lower costs and improve care: health information technology, or health IT. Health IT replaces paper medical records with electronic records. This is how I run my Baltimore-based wire basket and hook company; shouldn't my doctor do the same? The power of information technology is familiar to anyone who pays bills online, buys on Amazon or downloads music on an iPod. My company and other manufacturers use IT systems to track products from assembly line to store shelf, speed delivery to customers, conduct online sales and more.
NEWS
By David Kohn and David Kohn,Sun reporter | April 29, 2008
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stressed the merits of switching to electronic medical records in an appearance in Baltimore yesterday. "It's been a very great disappointment that the administration has not proposed to go to 100 percent electronic health records," Gingrich said yesterday. He was in Baltimore to speak at a health care symposium sponsored by Siemens, which ends today. He said Congress could have paid for such a changeover with the money now being directed to the subprime mortgage loan bailout.
NEWS
By Tanika White and Tanika White,Sun reporter | March 9, 2008
Ida Canapp insists she would take her five medications and two vitamin pills every day, whether or not a nurse's aide came to her Parkville home to monitor her. But her niece, Renee Gowland of Monkton, knows this is the dementia talking. "She wouldn't take them. Or she wouldn't know if she was taking the a.m. or the p.m. [doses]." At 82, Canapp is energetic, hospitable and fiercely independent - with the help of Aricept, a drug that tempers the effects of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
NEWS
By Rong-Gong Lin II and Teresa Watanabe and Rong-Gong Lin II and Teresa Watanabe,Los Angeles Times | November 25, 2007
The recent case of actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins, who were reportedly given 1,000 times the intended dosage of a blood thinner at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, underscores one of the biggest problems facing the healthcare industry: medication errors. At least 1.5 million Americans a year are injured after receiving the wrong medication or the incorrect dose, according to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies of Science. Such incidents have more than doubled in the last decade.
BUSINESS
By Bruce Japsen and Bruce Japsen,Chicago Tribune | November 16, 2006
CHICAGO -- Tired of paying for botched medical procedures and low-quality medical care, some of the nation's largest businesses called on U.S. hospitals yesterday to agree to apologize and waive costs related to so-called "never events" - medical errors these employers say should never happen. Both the Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of large health care purchasers such as Boeing Co., General Motors Corp., General Electric Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Marriott International Inc., and the Midwest Business Group on Health, a Chicago business coalition representing more than 80 local employers, said hospitals should commit to new policy on 28 health care never events as a way to make providers of medical care more accountable.
NEWS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | September 7, 2001
Faced with a likely legislative move to toughen the way Maryland regulates its doctors, a state medical society task force is proposing that the system be restructured to make it less punitive and encourage more thorough reporting of medical errors. The group says that creating this new system -- rather than tightening the state's current one -- would improve medical care and patient safety. But some local lawyers and national health policy experts are reacting negatively, noting that the medical society's proposal would leave regulation of doctors largely under its own control and further shield doctors from public scrutiny.
NEWS
By Julie Bell and Julie Bell,SUN STAFF | June 18, 2004
The beginning of an ambitious drive to reduce medical mistakes in Maryland hospitals and nursing homes is embodied in the humble maiden voyages of Dr. William F. Minogue, a career hospital man who is the first - and so far the only - employee of the Maryland Patient Safety Center. His rolling office is the Toyota minivan, sans rear seats, that his wife uses to transport the family's spaniels. So far, he carries only a briefcase, his experience and an underfunded plan for overcoming the medical errors that harm untold numbers of Maryland patients annually.
NEWS
By JULIE BELL and JULIE BELL,SUN REPORTER | September 30, 2005
Many Maryland hospitals are not complying with a law that requires them to tell the state when patients are seriously disabled or die after unexpected events such as medical mistakes, a state analysis concludes. The state's Office of Health Care Quality also found that even hospitals reporting the injuries often do so late and may be keeping patients and their families in the dark. "There needs to be a culture change at hospitals," said Carol Benner, who officially retired yesterday as director of the health care quality agency after earlier handing over day-to-day duties to acting director Wendy Kronmiller.
NEWS
By Erika Niedowski and Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF | March 9, 2005
Computer systems that allow doctors to order patients' prescriptions electronically - widely considered a cornerstone of the effort to reduce medication errors in hospitals - might cause mistakes themselves, a new study shows. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that one of the leading electronic systems increased the risk of 22 types of prescription error, including ordering the wrong dosage, failing to renew a medication on time and prescribing a drug for the wrong patient. "Technology offers an awful lot of promise, but this blind faith in it is often just lethal," said Ross Koppel of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, who was the study's lead author.
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