Medical Mistakes

By Corinne Rose

June 18, 2010 Updated Sep 4, 2007 at 6:38 PM EDT

(Fort Wayne, IN) -- Parkview Hospital ranks second in the state for "reportable events," or major medical mistakes.

Out of more than 37,000 thousand procedures last year, medical teams at Parkview left foreign objects in three patients -- a small, broken piece of a plastic sheath, a metallic ring, and a piece of gauze.

None needed to be surgically removed.

And out of 26,000 inpatients, one died after receiving the wrong medication, and four trauma patients developed severe bed sores.

Parkview's chief operating officer says while that total ranks the hospital as the second in the state for medical mistakes, no lawsuits ensued.

Sue Ehinger\Parkview C.O.O.: "When you put it in context of how many times the possibility could occur, then it looks a little bit differently. But any error that happens to any patient is something that we take very seriously."

So what Parkview officials wanted to know was how to fix those problems so they wouldn't happen again.

For the gauze left inside a patient, surgical teams changed their counting procedures to account for each item used.

Bar code scanning is used to match patients and medications.

And trauma patients are evaluated to see whether turning them to prevent bed sores will further injure them.

Sue Ehinger\Parkview C.O.O.: "Can someone make a mistake in it happening again, Corinne? Absolutely, it could. But I feel 100% confident that we've put the right steps into place to avoid that occuring again."

And in its latest review, the State Department of Health gave Parkview a positive report.

By the way, Clarian Hospitals in Indianapolis, including Methodist, Riley and the IU Medical Center had more than twice as many mistakes as Parkview.

And so far this year, Parkview has not had any major mistakes to report.

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