Far from becoming safer for patients, hospitals in Indiana are actually recording higher numbers of medical errors. New data from the Indiana State Department Of Health reveals that 2014 was a record year for medical error reporting. The statistics are contained in the ninth annual report released by the Indiana Medical Error Reporting System. All the incidents recorded in 2014 occurred in hospitals, or ambulatory surgical centers.
The highest numbers of errors were reported by the Lutheran Health Network Facilities and Indiana University Health Systems; reporting nine errors each in 2014.
According to the Department Of Health, in 2014, hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state recorded a total 114 preventable errors. The previous high was back in 2013, with a total of 111 errors reported.In 2014, the Department Of Health recorded 44 cases of pressure ulcers, and 27 adverse events involving foreign objects left behind in patients’ bodies during surgery. Approximately 21 cases involved surgeries that were performed on the wrong body part, while 10 were fall accidents.
Indiana medical malpractice lawyers, however, suspect that the actual rate of medical errors is much higher than the report seems to indicate. The criteria for reporting errors under the Indiana Medical Error Reporting System are fairly restrictive, which means that errors that do not meet the definition are possibly not being reported. The reporting standards were designed to offer a broad overview of patient safety issues in Indiana.
As medical malpractice lawyers in Indiana, we receive dozens of calls each week from patients who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, and therefore, believe that these statistics may be merely the tip of the huge iceberg of medical negligence in Indiana.
Reducing the rates of medical errors will require a much more targeted and focused approach. Indiana hospitals need to work harder on implementing basic prevention steps, like checklists, increased patient to staff ratios, and better staff training in order to reduce errors.
The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP, represent persons injured as a result of medical negligence across Indiana.