Adverse Health Events Report Notes Some Progress
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) -- The Minnesota Department of Health has released an annual report that shows the overall number of deaths and serious injuries from so-called “adverse health events” reported by hospitals and surgical centers throughout the state last year was comparable to the previous year. 316 adverse health events that resulted in 93 serious injuries and 16 deaths occurred in 2015. There were 98 serious injuries and 13 deaths in 2014.
The Mayo Clinic reported a total of 31 adverse health events at its two hospitals in Rochester last year. Those events caused 11 serious injuries, but no deaths. In 2014, Mayo reported 44 adverse events, 10 serious injuries and one death.
State officials say Minnesota hospitals made progress last year on reducing two stubborn areas of adverse events: surgical errors related to not removing all of the materials involved in operations and falls. Statewide, there were 67 cases involving falls associated with serious injuries, which was the lowest number reported in the dozen years since the health department began tracking the adverse health events. The number of cases of foreign objects left in a patient following surgery dropped from 33 to 22 last year.
”Although even one avoidable death or injury is too many, this year’s report shows the progress we are making - especially in preventing falls,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “Our approach of openness and public reporting is helping to encourage overall improvements and new opportunities to protect patients.”
The most common adverse event remains pressure sores and accounted for almost a third of the statewide total.