Are Massachusetts hospitals making more mistakes, or did they just get better at detecting them?

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Massachusetts hospitals reported 821 preventable errors in 2014, a 9 percent increase from the number of errors in 2013, when they reported 753 events that harmed or endangered patients.

According to a Boston Globe breakdown of a report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, events in 2014 included 41 times when an unintended object was left in a patient after surgery and 290 falls with serious injury or death.

Experts told the Globe that the increase in reported events is a positive thing — it means hospitals are getting better at finding and reporting the events, due to an online reporting system and clearer definitions of reportable events. The definition of serious reportable events changed in 2013.

"The continued increase in reporting is a positive indicator," Katherine T. Fillo, quality improvement manager with the Massachusetts Public Health Department, said, according to the Globe.

More articles on patient safety:
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Do Magnet hospitals have better patient outcomes?

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