Number of Adverse Events in Minnesota Remains Stagnant

The total number of adverse events at Minnesota hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers did not change significantly from 2011 to 2012, but more events resulted in patient harm in 2012, according to a Minnesota Department of Health report.

The report, "Adverse Health Events in Minnesota," includes data reported by 65 hospitals and six ASCs in Minnesota. The facilities reported a total of 312 adverse events from Oct. 7, 2011 to Oct. 6, 2012, an average of 26.1 events per month. Eighty percent of the adverse events involved hospital inpatients, 16 percent were in ASCs and 4 percent occurred in the emergency department or other location in the hospital or ASC.

Of the adverse events in 2012, 89, or 28 percent, resulted in serious disability and 14 events, or 4 percent, resulted in a patient's death.  In comparison, in 2011 there were 84 serious injuries and five deaths due to adverse events. The increase in injury and harm resulting from adverse events in 2012 is primarily due to an increase in patient falls, but suicides and elopements also increased, according to the report.

However, Minnesota hospitals and ASCs did have some successes. In 2012, the total number of pressure ulcers decreased 8 percent, retained foreign objects decreased 16 percent and medication errors decreased 75 percent from 2011.

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