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Some hospitals lack adequate policies for never events


Some Oregon residents may have heard of medical mistakes such as operating on the wrong patient or leaving a surgical tool inside a patient. Dubbed “never events” because they should never happen, a total of 29 of these types of errors have been identified. Medicare and other health plans may pay a lower reimbursement to hospitals where some types of never events happen. The Leapfrog Group has released a report stating that 20 percent of reporting hospitals around the country do not conform to its policies for preventing never events.

Leapfrog looked at compliance by state. It found that 100 percent of hospitals in Washington, Massachusetts and Maine met its standards while 90 percent of hospitals did in eight other states. However, fewer than 60 percent of hospitals in seven states and only 10 percent in Arizona had the necessary policies in place.

Leapfrog also found little growth in the number of hospitals putting policies in place regarding never events after a significant number did so from 2007 to 2012. Furthermore, a growing number of hospitals do not share their policies on never events with Leapfrog. The proganization recommends that after a never event, a medical facility should apologize and report to an outside agency. It should also analyze the error and waive costs for the patient.

A never event can be devastating for a person’s health. This type of hospital negligence can result in a worsened medical condition requiring additional and expensive care and treatment. Those who have been harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see if they have a viable claim.