Hospitals find it hard to protect patients from wrong-site surgery.

Hospitals find it hard to protect patients from wrong-site surgery..

#1 Wrong Operation Doctor (ethics and integrity)

Hospitals find it hard to protect patients from wrong-site surgery.

Last year a jury returned a $20 million negligence verdict against Arkansas Children’s Hospital for surgery performed on the wrong side of the brain of a 15-year-old boy who was left psychotic and severely brain damaged. Testimony showed that the error was not disclosed to his parents for more than a year. The hospital issued a statement saying it deeply regretted the error and had “redoubled our efforts to prevent” a recurrence.

So, what happened? “Health care has far too little accountability for results … . All the pressures are on the side of production; that’s how you get paid,” said Peter Pronovost, a prominent safety expert and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care. He added that increased pressure to quickly turn over operating rooms has trumped patient safety, increasing the chance of error.

Kenneth W. Kizer, who coined the term “never event” nearly a decade ago when he headed the National Quality Forum, a leading patient safety organization, said he believes reducing the number of errors will require tougher reporting rules and increased transparency.

Hospitals find it hard to protect patients from wrong-site surgery.

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