HHS IG Issues Sobering Report on Errors

Hospital staffs did not report 87 percent of errors, although they were required to, according to the inspector general's report.

Roughly 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are harmed in some way while hospitalized, according to a July 20 report from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 44 percent of those harmful episodes were preventable, as well.

The IG undertook the analysis of adverse events because of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, not the passage or signing of the Affordable Care Act. The analysis concluded the cost to Medicare from adverse events amounts to an estimated $324 million per month, or $4.4 billion annually.

The most significant findings in the report involve Medicare-participating hospitals' reporting of adverse events. While they are required to report them, the IG staff found 86 percent of events were not reported to incident reporting systems.

"Previous explanations for low reporting levels include the following: (1) staff do not have time, (2) staff fear punitive action, and (3) staff do not believe that reports will lead to improvement. However, this report found that the low level of reporting is also due partly to hospital staffs' lack of understanding as to what constitutes patient harm. Therefore, OIG recommended that AHRQ and CMS develop a list of potentially reportable events to assist hospital staff," the IG office stated.

Also, there is no comprehensive national reporting system for adverse events. Only half of the states have them, and their systems vary widely, according to the report. The IG's office said it will continue to examine adverse events, including looking beyond hospitals to other medical settings, and is already working on a study of adverse events in nursing homes. Visit http://oig.hhs.gov/newsroom/spotlight/2012/adverse.asp for more information.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2019

    March 2019


      Not Your Grandpa's Ear Muffs 
      Far Too Many Fatal Falls
      Marijuana in the Workplace
      Ladder Safety Tips
    View This Issue