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Number of adverse health events in Minnesota hospitals stayed flat in 2012

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In its most recent annual report on adverse health events occurring in Minnesota hospitals and outpatient surgical centers, the Minnesota Department of Health found that the total number of adverse events stayed about the same compared to the year before, but more patients experienced serious harm or death related to these events. Most of the increase was related to serious falls. During the same period, the number of serious bedsores, retained foreign objects and medication errors decreased. The adverse health events reporting system report released January 31st, 2013 tracks 28 types of serious events, such as wrong-site surgeries, severe bedsores, falls, or serious medication errors, which should rarely or never happen.

The legislation creating the adverse health events reporting system was supported by Minnesota hospitals and signed into law in 2003. The law requires all Minnesota hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to report to MDH whenever any of 28 serious events occurs. The National Quality Forum created this list of adverse events in 2002 following an Institute of Medicine report estimating that medical errors in hospitals cause 44,000 to 98,000 deaths every year in the United States.

A full copy of the adverse health events report and additional information can be found on MDH’s Adverse Health Events Web page, at www.health.state.mn.us/patientsafety.

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