Indiana University Health Reports Highest Number of Medical Errors in 2010

The Indiana State Department of Health has released its 2010 Medical Error Report. According to the report, Indiana University Health recorded some of the highest medical errors in 2010.

Indiana University Health recorded a total of 19 serious errors in 2010. Overall, 107 series medical errors were reported in Indiana hospitals and healthcare centers in 2010. That was an increase of at least 13 errors from 2009. In fact, the number of medical errors that were reported in 2010 is the highest since the state began collecting medical information 5 years ago.

Overall, according to the report, the Indiana State Department of Health issued 34 citations for serious bedsores and 33 for foreign objects left inside patients after surgeries. Stage III and stage IV bedsores have been the most frequent medical errors reported in for the last 5 years.

Other mistakes that were cited by the Indiana Department of Health were at least 17 fall accidents which resulted in fatalities or disabilities, and 14 wrong site surgeries. In Marion County, Indiana University Health reported 8 incidents involving foreign objects left behind after surgeries, 6 bedsores and 1 fall resulting in disability or death. One wrong site surgery was performed at the Lafayette Hospital, and 3 falls were recorded at a hospital in Avon.

Indiana University performed about 70,600 medical procedures in 2010. That was about 10,000 more procedures than were performed at St. Vincent which was ranked at second place. Officials at Indiana University found this disparity in the number of procedures performed to be the reason why there were more errors at Indiana University. According to them, the number of errors is greater because they were more numbers of procedures performed at IU Health.

Additionally, the severity of the cases that come in at Indiana University Health increases the risk of certain types of errors. For instance, according to officials, there are more trauma and transplant cases at Indiana University Health, and these victims are more susceptible to serious bedsores.

However, it is difficult for Indiana medical malpractice lawyers to reconcile the difference in the number of procedures performed at both the healthcare systems with the disparity in errors. While Indiana University Health performed about 70,600 procedures and reported 19 errors, St. Vincent performed just 10,000 lesser procedures, but recorded a total of just 5 errors last year. Indiana University Health’s excuses about the high number of errors don’t seem to wash.

Among the errors reported at St. Vincent Health, 3 were fall accidents, and 2 involved foreign objects left behind after surgeries. Community Health Network in Indianapolis reported 4 errors, including 2 involving foreign objects left behind, and one bedsore and one wrong site surgery. St. Francis reported 2 errors – one involving a fall resulting in death or disability, and the other involving a foreign object left behind after surgery. Wishard reported no medical errors.