Wrong-Site Surgery Still National Problem 7 Years Later

by William Jorden on June 27, 2011

“Pennsylvania has averaged about 64 cases for the past few years.” – Washington Post

Surgical errors such as wrong-site surgery are seemingly easy to prevent from the perspective of a patient and potential victim. According to the latest statistics reported by the Joint Commission, wrong-site surgery remains a problem across the nation although only half of the 50 states are required to report mistakes made in surgery. In a recent article published in the Washington Post, we learn more about the ongoing issue.

The Washington Post (6/20,Boodman) reports: “Based on state data, joint commission officials estimate that wrong site surgery occurs 40 times a week in US hospitals and clinics.”  In 2010 alone, “93 cases were reported to the accrediting organization, compared with 49 in 2004.”  The Post points out, “Attention to the problem comes at a time of increased focus on the broader issue of medical errors, which a recent health affair study found affected one-third of hospital patients.”  Recently “The federal government recently rolled out its Partnership for Patients Program aimed at reducing medical mistakes.”  While “Medicare requires reporting and does not pay for wrong-site surgery, and many insurers have followed suit.”  Next year, Medicaid will begin a similar policy.

Click here to read the full article.

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