Reports increase of serious patient care issues in Maryland hospitals

Maryland hospitals reported significantly more serious patient care problems, including malpractice and preventable injuries, in 2010 than in the previous year. According to the state’s annual report on patient care and safety, there were 265 adverse events causing death or serious injury to patients reported in 2010, compared with 190 the year before.

However, health officials attributed the increase to better identification and reporting – particularly when it came to pressure ulcers (bedsores) – not to a real increase in problems.

Falls continue to be the No. 1 adverse event at hospitals, followed by pressure ulcers and delays in treatment. No hospitals were named in the report, but larger ones with more complex cases reported more problems, according to the Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality, which has been collecting the information from hospitals for 6 years.

The director of the office, Nancy Grimm, praised Maryland hospitals’ continued efforts to improve patient safety. “Increased reporting by hospitals is an indication of engaged and proactive patient safety programs, which ultimately promotes positive patient safety outcomes,” she said. “The greater the reporting, the better results for patients.”

Source: The Baltimore Sun

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