In Minnesota, adverse event improvement goes beyond statistics

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

May 19, 2015

Although patient safety data has played a larger role in dictating hospital and state initiatives, sometimes statistics are only one piece of the puzzle.

In February, Minnesota released its annual report on adverse health events (AHE) that revealed some of the key focus areas for hospitals in the state based on events that occurred in the previous year. Although there are a number of specific takeaways from the report, what might be most surprising is that after 11 years of mandatory public reporting, adverse event statistics have remained largely the same. In fact, although the total number of AHEs actually increased from 258 in 2013 to 308 in 2014, the number have been almost static during the previous five years: The state averaged 310 AHEs annually from 2008 to 2012. It begs the question: If a decade-old program designed to improve patient safety isn’t reducing AHEs, is it working?

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