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US hospital incident reporting systems do not capture most adverse events

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e386 (Published 13 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e386
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

US hospitals are capturing and reporting only 14% of adverse events experienced by patients covered by the Medicare government health insurance programme, an analysis has found.

The report, by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, laid most of the blame on uncertainty as to what should be reported. It recommends a series of actions to educate healthcare providers, administrators, and agencies that evaluate their operations.

The analysis was based upon a random sample of 780 patients from the nearly one million Medicare beneficiaries discharged from acute care hospitals in October 2008. It involved a detailed …

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