Hospital Data on Medical Errors and Injuries Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its latest data concerning medical errors and injuries that occur in hospitals. CMS began reporting hospital-specific rates of eight hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), so patients can compare how often the nation’s 4,700 hospitals make preventable medical errors.
The eight conditions are foreign object retained after surgery, air embolism, blood incompatibility, stage III and IV pressure ulcers, falls and trauma, vascular catheter-associated infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and manifestations of poor glycemic control.
CMS has been reporting such data on its website since 2007. The publication of the data has met with resistance from hospitals as well as the American Hospital Association. However, CMS contends that such data is vital for consumers who must make informed decisions about their own healthcare choices.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 13.5% of Medicaid recipients who are hospitalized experience an adverse event such as a medical error.