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Two ‘adverse events’ reported at hospital

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently released its annual Adverse Health Events in Minnesota Report.

The report covers adverse health events – like pressure ulcers, wrong site surgical events and others – from October 7, 2012 through October 6, 2013.

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Statewide, the number of events reported was 258, a decline of 18 percent from 2012.

Two adverse health events were reported at Douglas County Hospital (DCH).

Both events were related to surgical or other invasive procedures:

● One report of retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure; and

● One report of wrong surgical/invasive procedure performed.

Neither event resulted in serious injury or death, according to the report.

Carl Vaagenes, chief executive officer, Douglas County Hospital, told the Echo Press, “Any adverse events are unfortunate and unacceptable, and the Douglas County Hospital and all of our medical professionals will not rest until the problems causing these events are resolved.”

Vaagenes added, “In both instances, the patients were active partners in helping to identify these events, which is an extremely important component of creating a culture of safety within hospitals. These events, while unacceptable and preventable, did not cause any injury to the patients.”

In 2003, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring all hospitals to report whenever a serious adverse health event occurs.

In 2013, 25,523 surgeries/invasive procedures were performed at DCH and 24,399 surgeries/procedures were performed.

Among many accolades over recent years, in 2013, DCH was rated one of the “Top Fourteen Hospitals in Minnesota for Safe Surgery” by Consumer Reports.

“We’re very proud of the work of our staff, but recognize that there is more work to be done,” Vaagenes said.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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