Surgeries on the wrong body parts and a serious injury from a fall were among the errors reported at two area hospitals, according to the latest Minnesota Department of Health Adverse Health Events report.
There were four adverse events reported at the 50-bed Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing between Oct. 7, 2016 and Oct. 6, 2017: surgery or other invasive procedure performed on the wrong body part, a pressure ulcer, patient burn and patient fall. The surgical error, burn and fall resulted in serious injuries, according to the report.
"At Mayo Clinic Health System, our highest priority is patient care and safety," said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, Mayo Clinic chief patient safety officer, in an emailed statement. "The reporting system is an opportunity for us to continually review and improve the care we provide. By reporting events like those in Red Wing, we are better able to understand any safety threats and make proactive changes."
He continued: "We know that adverse events are not just statistics; they affect the lives of real people with real families. We deeply regret each and every instance of harm and are dedicated to continuous improvement of all aspects of our patient care."
A surgical error also was reported at the 86-bed Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury. There were no adverse health events reported at Regina Hospital in Hastings.
A total of 341 adverse health events were reported at hospitals statewide during the yearlong period, resulting in 103 serious injuries and 12 deaths. The number of adverse events increased slightly from 336 events in last year's report.
"Behind each of these events is a patient and family," said Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer of the Minnesota Hospital Association, in a news release. "Minnesota's nation-leading adverse health events reporting system provides a strong framework for learning and continuous quality improvement — and our hospitals, health systems and care teams use what they learn to continually improve patient safety."
The state has collected details on more than 3,500 adverse health events in the 14 years since the reporting system was implemented. Falls, medication errors and product/device malfunctions have historically been the most common causes for serious patient injury or death.
The system is used to improve care and prevent injuries, according to the health department.
All hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers licensed by the state are required to report adverse health events under Minnesota law. The law does not cover federally licensed facilities operated by the Veteran's Administration or Indian Health Service.
The report can be viewed online at www.health.state.mn.us/patientsafety/publications.