Did you know there is a statewide patient safety program that requires
hospitals to notify in writing any patient affected by a serious medical
error? Well, neither do a lot of the hospitals! The Oregonian just reported
that this “required” written notification took place less
than half the time. In fact, of the 80 cases where written notification
should have been provided, only 36 were successfully accomplished.
So why the failure to send out written notifications? Even the Oregon Association
of Hospitals and Health Systems doesn’t seem to have a concrete
answer. Admitting such medical mistakes can be difficult, but apparently
nine hospitals have succeeded in sticking to the patient safety program.
In other words, if hospitals want to notify patients of medical errors,
they can. It’s not rocket science.
The Oregon Patient Safety Commission just received a $20,000 grant to assist
hospitals in streamling the process to provide written notification. For
more on this story, see