No one should be surprised to learn that medical errors occur in hospitals, even the finest medical centers. The extent to which hospitals fail their legal obligation report “adverse events,” however, is shocking.
According to a recently released report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services, in the nearly 200 hospitals surveyed, hospital staff failed to report 86 percent of adverse events to incident reporting systems. Here is a link to the full report: http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-06-09-00091.asp.
As a condition of participation in Medicare, hospitals are required to track, analyze and report adverse events, which are defined as occasions when harm to a patient results from medical care. Although an adverse event may occur in the absence of a medical error – whether an error with a prescription, or a failure to perform a procedure correctly or inadequate monitoring – the fact is that many adverse events do result from error.Continue Reading
The debate rages about health effects from “fracking” for natural gas. One thing we know for sure now: It is becoming harder to ignore the risks at groundlevel. Drilling companies are racking up environmental violations for dumping and spills. And the increased traffic from industrial trucks and other heavy equipment means more risks for those on the road.Continue Reading