Washington state publicly posts hospital adverse drug event data

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Information on adverse events, medical errors and ways to prevent them in Washington hospitals and facilities is now online on a recently uploaded website where errors are reported by medical facilities and tracked by the state health department to improve patient safety and care at hospitals and facilities across the state, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Under state law, hospitals and medical facilities are required to report 28 types of errors that are considered “serious reportable events” by the Washington, D.C.-based healthcare nonprofit organization National Quality Forum. From June 2006 through March 2010, the agency received reports of 780 adverse events in Washington facilities. Of these events, 402 were pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores. There were also 228 surgical events, 75 falls and 20 medication errors.

While the data set is not intended for direct hospital comparisons, it’s already being used to improve hospital systems and reflects the work of some hospitals to reduce the number of pressure ulcers, according to the department.

The web-based tool also has frequently asked questions on adverse events and links to health resources for consumers and information and resources to help medical facilities report, analyze and find ways to avoid adverse events. The new website lists adverse event reports by facility name and by date.