California Department of Health works with hospitals to prevent medical errors

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

March 17, 2010

A 2007 law requiring that California hospitals report on 28 "never events" has helped California identify medical error trends, reports The Los Angeles Times. The state's Department of Health (DOH) has reported that in the last fiscal year 1,538 errors were reported by hospitals. The most common were hospital-acquired bed sores, followed by retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery, death due to a fall, and death during surgery or up to 24 hours after surgery. Hospitals can be fined for such occurrences.

The DOH has issued 134 fines to 90 hospitals, and it has collected $2.8 million. This year the state plans to use $800,000 of that money to study why objects are left behind in patients during surgery, and how to prevent that from occurring. Additionally, the state plans on releasing a report that analyzes trends in medical errors.

To read more from the Los Angeles Times, click here.