Georgia hospitals often fail to disclose patient safety violations, analysis finds

Over four dozen Georgia hospitals were cited for more than 250 patient safety violations between 2015 and 2018, but most facilities failed to publicly disclose the violations, according to an analysis of hospital inspection records by The Telegraph.

The number of violations in Georgia has decreased overall, from 89 in 2015 to 48 in 2018. This is largely due to facility renovations, new technologies and improvements in patient safety measurements, said Erin Stewart, a spokesperson for the Georgia Hospital Association.

Yet federal citations can be misleading, according to patient safety experts. Independent accreditors and state inspectors, not federal inspectors, perform most hospital surveys, and they rarely share their findings.

Georgia hospitals' citations reflect the thousands of violations that go unreported each year nationwide. The state's top citation was violation of a federal law mandating emergency treatment for all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Such citations can put hospitals at risk of losing CMS funding.

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