Number of Medical Errors Reported by Mass. Hospitals Spiked in 2013

August 15, 2014

The number of medical errors reported by Massachusetts acute-care hospitals has jumped 70 percent since the state expanded the type of incidents hospitals are required to report.

Hospitals reported 753 serious medical errors and other patient injuries last year to the state Public Health Department.

Instances where patients underwent a procedure on the wrong body part, were burned by an operating room fire or a too-hot heating pack, or were subject to contaminated drugs or improperly sterilized equipment saw some of the largest increases in reporting since 2012.

Hospitals also reported more patient falls, serious bed sores, assaults, and suicides and suicide attempts.

Department associate commissioner Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo tells The Boston Globe that even though the reporting requirements have expanded and been streamlined, one error is too many.

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