Consumer Watchdog called on Governor Jerry Brown and the California Department of Public Health to audit hospitals to find out how many medical mistakes actually occur in California hospitals.
State law requires hospitals to report medical mistakes—or “adverse events”— within five days of when they happen. An NBC Bay Area investigation showed that that information is difficult to find. The state publishes these numbers yearly and only gives total numbers. Simply finding out how many adverse events happen at particular hospitals required a public records request.
Some have expressed concern that certain hospitals report more diligently than others. Many hospitals only reported a single adverse event over a four-year period, while others reported hundreds.
“Given that an estimated 44,000 Californians die every year because of preventable medical error,” wrote Consumer Watchdog in its press release, “this tiny number of reported adverse events is literally unbelievable.”
No word yet from the governor on whether he will conduct such an audit.
InvestigativeCA Hospitals Make Hundreds of Errors Every Year