HHS: Hospitals ignoring requirements to report errors
Hospitals are ignoring state regulations that require them to report cases in which medical care harmed a patient, making it almost impossible for health care providers to identify and fix preventable problems, a report to be released today by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general shows.
Researchers say the hospitals’ failure to report problems isn’t a sign of a coverup but rather the staffs’ ignorance of the regulations and what they need to report.
Hope for the future lies in electronic health records, Adler says, because “we may be able to prevent events, we may be able to ameliorate events, and (electronic records) may become your surveillance system.”
Incentives included in the 2010 federal health care law to encourage more hospitals to use electronic records may change how errors are tracked and addressed, say researchers of the inspector general’s study.
The health care system is “right on the cusp” of identifying “safety issues just as they happen,” said David Classen, a University of Utah associate professor of medicine and infectious disease.
See on www.usatoday.com
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