Surgical Errors Increase, Despite Preventative Measures

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As overall medical errors are on the decline, the number of surgical errors is rising, according to a report from the Boston Globe

Hospital error data disclosed to the state of Massachusetts in 2012 revealed hospitals that reported surgical errors — a category of 'never events' — experienced them in proportion to the overall number of surgical procedures performed. Few errors reported caused permanent damage, but most were preventable. Half of all hospitals remained surgical error-free.
 
 
Medical error reduction campaigns have been implemented widely in hospitals since the 1999 Institute of Medicine report that revealed tens of thousands of patients die annually from medical errors. Since 2008, hospitals have been required to report serious reportable events to their state's Department of Public Health.  Recently, the list of reportable errors has become inclusive of more procedures. 
 
While surgical errors seem to be on the rise, it is not clear whether this is reflective of a greater number of errors or better reporting of the errors that do occur. 
 

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