Minnesota Hospital Association Statement on State's Eighth Annual Adverse Health Events Report

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MHA CEO Lawrence Massa shares insights on Minnesota Adverse Health Report

Minnesota Hospital Association CEO Lawrence Massa shares insights on the eighth annual Minnesota Adverse Health Event Report. Following is a transcript of the MHA's video statement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5_p9Sq1lQA&feature=youtu.be

"My name is Lawrence Massa, and I’m the president and CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association, which represents 145 hospitals and 17 health systems across the state."

"The Minnesota Department of Health today released its eighth annual Adverse Health Events Report, which found an increase in the number of medical errors reported by Minnesota hospitals over last year, from 305 events in 2010 to 316 events in 2011. The report also shows a total of five deaths associated with medical errors, down from nine the year before. Overall, the report shows the lowest level of harm since 2007, when the categories of what we report expanded."

"On behalf of Minnesota hospitals, first let me say that our highest priority is the care and safety of our patients. We are deeply sorry any time that care that’s intended to heal causes harm. Our goal, and the goal of the report, is to prevent adverse events by investigating what happened, putting systems in place to fix the problem and sharing the lessons learned with all hospitals."

"Our hospitals have made great strides in patient safety since reporting began in 2003. The lessons we learned have helped us prevent adverse events and make patient care safer. As a result, in 2011, Minnesota hospitals reported fewer deaths, fewer falls, fewer wrong-site surgeries and no sponges left in mothers during labor and delivery."

"Each year, we push further to use adverse event reporting as a tool for improving patient care. Nearly all of the increased events this year are from two categories: pressure ulcers and wrong procedures. Specifically, this year’s higher number of pressure ulcers stems from an increased awareness of how easily pressure ulcers can form around devices such as cervical collars, oxygen tubes and masks. In fact, roughly one-third of reported pressure ulcers are device-related. That realization has led us to new approaches for inspecting skin beneath devices, and new preventive techniques such as using special padding around oxygen tubes to relieve pressure."

"In 2011, we did record an increase in the number of wrong procedures, such as incorrect cataract lens and knee and breast implants, from 16 to 26. Consequently, working together hospitals and clinics now take steps to investigate the scheduling process from the initial patient visit in the clinic to the hospital where the procedure is performed to improve accuracy and communication."

"Minnesota was the first state to publicly report adverse health events by hospital in 2003. Today, our hospitals and the state Health Department remain committed to this high level of transparency because it improves our care of patients. We are proud of our hard work, but know that we must continue to do more to prevent mistakes and ensure patient safety."

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Wendy Burt
Minnesota Hospital Association
651-603-3549
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