Hospitals Must Improve Efforts To Limit Medical Errors, Columnist Writes
U.S. hospitals have achieved a greater level of success in their efforts to prevent patients from receiving the wrong operation or medication, but they could do more to improve communication with patients about the risk of procedures, ensure adequate nursing care and prevent complications, columnist Laura Landro writes in the Wall Street Journal.
Citing two recently released studies -- one conducted by the Leapfrog Group and the other by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices -- Landro writes that hospitals have made progress in avoiding medication errors and implementing safe practice recommendations, but "only 21% of hospitals are fully compliant with 27 safety practices developed by the National Quality Forum," according to the Leapfrog Group's survey.
Meanwhile, patient-safety legislation "hasn't gotten very far in Congress," Landro writes. Nevertheless, safety advocates "continue to try to raise consumer awareness of the dangers" present at hospitals that lack adequate safety procedures, she states (Landro, Wall Street Journal, 11/17).