Anesthesiologists underreporting medical errors: 5 insights

This article was originally published here

Anesthesiology News reported on a study examining Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan’s medical error reporting rates among anesthesiologists.

University of Michigan Assistant Professor Mark Hausman, MD, and colleagues used self-reported institutional quality assurance data from the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group from July 2006 to November 2015 and searching for medication error incidents. The researchers used University of Michigan Health System data.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Researchers found 238 instances of self-reported medication errors out of 434,554 cases; a rate of 5.5 self-reported medication errors per 10,000 cases.

2. Antibiotics and opioids were the most common drugs involved in medication errors. Half of reported errors were IV boluses.

3. Concerning severity, 9.7 percent caused temporary harm. Adverse outcomes included mechanical ventilation in the PACU, unplanned admission or escalation of care, unplanned intubation or case cancellation or delay.

4. Dr. Hausman said to AN, the reported medical error rate is too low for more than nine years of data.

5. Dr. Hausman said the results show anesthesiologists “grossly” under report medical errors at University of Michigan.

Researchers concluded, “These results demonstrate that there is significant room for improvement when it comes to self-reporting of medication errors among health care providers.”

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