Five of Boston's teaching hospitals have decided to do something hospitals rarely do--disclose the results of inspections done by the Joint Commission over the past eight months. While reasons for disclosing the data vary, Massachusetts General president Dr. Peter Slavin has said that he posted the "disappointing" results to serve as a wake-up call. While all of the hospitals passed their inspections, the inspections found that they are struggling, as are most hospitals, with some basic safety problems. For example, Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women's Hospitals and Boston Medical Center were cited for failing to collect medication information as patients were admitted. In another case, Massachusetts General doctors and nurses failed nine times to verify, or failed to document, that they'd checked a patient's identity before they inserted IVs or other procedures. Inspectors also found that the hospital had failed in some instances to document patient's pain medication needs or information patients' advance directives. Each of the hospitals were issued "requirement for improvement" citations for problems which must be corrected. These results are generally in line with results for hospitals nationwide, which are still grappling with the Joint Commission's patient safety goals.
For more details on the hospitals' safety failings:
- read this article from The Boston Globe