Most hospital errors not reported

February 25, 2012

Only one in seven errors, accidents, and other events that harm hospitalized Medicare patients, is recognized and reported, federal investigators say.

Only one in seven errors, accidents, and other events that harm hospitalized Medicare patients, is recognized and reported, federal investigators say.

Even when hospitals investigate reported injuries and infections, they rarely change practices to prevent them from occurring again, according to a study from the inspector general (IG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IG estimates that more than 130,000 Medicare patients experience one or more adverse events in hospitals per month.

The report recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality help hospitals improve their incident reporting systems.