In Indiana, the State Department of Health issues a “medical error report” which consists of all medical errors reported to the state in a given 365 day period. In 2010, the Department received 107 such reports of medical errors. Some of these errors included 33 foreign objects retained in a patient after surgery (30 in hospitals, three in ambulatory surgery centers) and 14 surgeries performed on the wrong body part (12 in hospitals, two in ambulatory surgery centers).
These 47 medical errors (nearly half of all reported in 2010) are very serious errors that may have resulted in serious or fatal injuries. One can only speculate on the number of errors that went unreported.
For our purposes, I would be very interested to know the number of medical errors in New Hampshire for a given year. These are important questions that directly impact patient safety and the quality of healthcare. They should be answered and made public.
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