FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
125 Too Many Adverse Health Events for Minnesota Last Year
Americans for Quality Health Care/Minnesota Urges Immediate Steps to Improve Patient Safety in State
Washington, D.C. — January 17, 2008 — Hours after the Minnesota Department of Health released Adverse Health Events in Minnesota, which finds that 125 serious medical events took place at the state’s hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and community behavioral health hospitals from October 7, 2006 to October 6, 2007, a powerful coalition of consumer, health, senior, and other organizations representing tens of thousands of state residents urged quick action to improve the quality of care in the state.
The fourth annual public report continues Minnesota’s proud commitment to measuring and reporting medical care, leaders said, welcoming the minimal progress documented since last year. There were 154 adverse events documented in the state in last year’s report. But Americans for Quality Health Care/Minnesota notes vast room for improvement.
“At a time when preventable medical errors kill an estimated 100,000 Americans each year, and patients have no more than a 50/50 chance of getting the right care at the right time, poor quality care is a major concern for all of us,” said Christine Norton co-founder of the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition. “Minnesota has been a pioneer in public reporting and that’s an important first step, but these are events that should never happen. The number all health care providers should be striving for is zero.”
Adverse or “never” health events include wrong site surgery, wrong procedures, pressure ulcers/bedsores, medication errors, retained objects, falls, criminal events and other such preventable errors or occurrences.
Americans for Quality Health Care/Minnesota is urging the Minnesota Hospital Association and Minnesota Department of Health to work with consumer groups and the media to make patients more aware of the new report and accompanying consumer guide, and to give consumer groups information on the process and evaluations hospitals are using to stop these events altogether.
The Americans for Quality Health Care/Minnesota is a coalition, organized by the National Partnership for Women & Families, comprised of consumer organizations and advocates working to improve patient safety and quality of care in Minnesota.
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.