Medical errors at Massachusetts hospitals on the rise

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BOSTON >> State public health officials say preventable medical errors reported by full-service Massachusetts hospitals jumped 60 percent last year, but attributed the rise in large part to a problem at a single hospital.

The Department of Public Health says hospitals disclosed 1,313 errors that harmed or threatened patients in 2015, including 26 cases when the wrong surgery or procedure was performed. The Boston Globe reports there were 51 instances when a medication error seriously injured or killed a patient and 446 cases of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics.

The last category rose largely because Baystate Medical Center in Springfield notified hundreds of patients they were potentially exposed to infection after state inspectors found crowded and unsanitary conditions in the inpatient dialysis unit. The state counted each one as a "serious reportable event."

Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com


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