South Florida Sun Sentinel reporters Sally Kestin and Bob LaMendola report that, despite the myriad initiatives and protocols launched in the dozen years since a landmark report thrust medical errors into the headlines, little progress has been made in actually reducing the toll taken by medical errors.
“I don’t really see any improvement in patient safety,” said Dr. Arthur Palamara, a Hollywood vascular surgeon and advocate for safer practices. “Unfortunately, despite all the protocols that were put in place, the adverse incidents, the wrong-site surgeries still keep happening at the same rate.”
A long list of technological advances and a national emphasis on preventing mistakes “hasn’t made a difference,” said Douglas Dotan, chief executive of CRG Medical, a Houston firm that sets up error-prevention systems…
They found that, while some progress has been made, even the most aggressive hospitals have found it difficult to crack the exceeding complex web of human and mechanical interactions that make errors possible.
These findings, which have become a depressingly predictable event, are built in part on research published in the April, 2011 issue of Health Affairs, a publication to which AHCJ members are granted free access.
AHCJ resources on patient safety
- Health Journalism 2008: Dennis Quaid acts on medical errors
- Health Journalism 2010: Patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University was the keynote speaker.Watch an excerpt of his address and see his PowerPoint presentation.
- Deciphering hospital quality data
- Public handicapped by lack of information on medical errors
- Medical errors and the movement toward transparency
- Sunshine Week: Some hospital quality measures online but more could be done
- Hospital patient safety initiatives borrow from transportation industry
- Outsourcing of pharmacies: Prescription for problems?
- Medical misconnections: Patient-safety problems
- Reporter documents surgical errors through public records