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Senator calls for California medical providers to reduce errors

In the wake of a report on national medical errors, California Sen. Barbara Boxer is calling for medical providers in the state to increase vigilance and efforts for patient safety. The senator toured a local medical facility and held a press conference, where she stated the medical community had a chance to save many lives every year.

During the hospital tour, the senator reportedly viewed technology and innovation at work. The hospital has adopted new electronic medical record technology, which is says has reduced certain errors from four a month to none. The senator also saw a robot at work in the facility; it was pulsing walls with ultraviolet light for disinfecting.

The report referenced by the senator is called Medical Errors, and it stated that around 325,000 die in the country every year due to medical errors such as surgical errors, medication issues or poor medical surroundings. The report listed nine top causes of death in medical environments, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and adverse drug interactions.

The chief medical officer for the California Hospital Association said facilities were working toward improvement. He also said he realized there was a lot of work left to do. According to the chief medical officer, hospitals in the state saved around $64 million by reducing errors.

According to reports, Sen. Boxer wrote to 283 state facilities, asking for a plan to reduce errors. She said she received answers form 149 facilities.

As medical facilities work to improve error rates, patients are still occasionally caught in fatal error or situations that involve injury. Those patients have a right to seek compensation for damages sustained, especially when the staff was negligent in some manner.

Source:  Daily Democrat News, "Boxer: 325,000 deaths in hospitals due to errors" Susan Abram, Apr. 27, 2014

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