Medical errors and other adverse events occur in one-third of hospital admissions–as much as 10 times more than some previous estimates have indicated, according to a new study.
Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal focusing on health policy, published this finding in its April edition. The publication is an arm of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization.
The patient safety study, conducted by David Classen of the University of Utah and coauthors at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, compared three methods for detecting adverse events in hospitalized patients, including the Institute’s own Global Trigger Tool. The study drew on comparable samples of patients from three leading hospitals that had undertaken quality and safety improvement efforts.
Among the 795 patient records reviewed, voluntary reporting detected four “events,” the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Indicators detected 35, and the Global Trigger Tool detected 354 events, ten times more than the AHRQ method.