Sharp increase in reported medical errors
The number of reported medical errors in hospital increased sharply in the first half of this year, NOS reports based on figures from the Healthcare Inspectorate. Last year a total of 958 errors were reported to the inspectorate. During the first half of this year, the Inspectorate received 752 reports. It expects a total of some 1,500 reported errors throughout this year.
According to the Inspectorate, the increase in reported errors does not mean that healthcare is becoming less safe. "On the contrary. As hospitals report more, they are examined more and then it is less likely that the undesirable situation occurs again", the Inspectorate says in the report, which was published on Wednesday.
The Inspectorate attributes the increase in reports to the fact that medical errors are recognized more quickly, a spokesperson said to NU.nl. Media attention to medical errors also helps.
Last year the Inspectorate issued 21 fines for improper or careless care. Three people were fined for claming to be a doctor without the qualifications. So far this year five people were fined for that reason.
Patients Federation Netherlands is pleased that hospitals are being increasingly open about their errors, but doesn't want to rejoice too soon. "It is good that hospitals more often report that something went wrong. But we still do not know whether the number of reports is just the tip of the iceberg, or whether there really is more openess, also about medical errors", director Dianda Veldman said, according to NU. "It would be good if all hospitals report everything that deviates from the normal rules, at least if the deviation led to a medical error. Only then will we really know how often things go wrong."