CA hospitals disclose more than 1000 medical harm cases

California hospitals have made their first official disclosures of never events occurring in their facilities, a step required under a state law enacted in 2006. The disclosures, which cover the period between July 2007 and May 2008, address 28 never events specified in the legislation. The state's hospitals reported a total of 1,002 cases of serious medical harm, including wrong-organ surgeries, administration of incorrect drugs and neglect of serious medical conditions. This is a small percentage when weighed against the 4 million hospital admissions that occur in California each year, but still serious, observers note.

As in other states, California has considered legislation which would bar hospitals from charging patients for care that led to medical harm. Originally, such legislation would have covered all 28 conditions tracked by the state, but at the urging of hospital and physician lobbies, the legislator behind the proposed ban has cut back on what errors would be barred from charges.

To learn more about the error reports:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

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