Medical error reporting in New York City lags the rest of the state

New York City hospitals are the least reliable in the state at reporting preventable mistakes and adverse incidents for patients like heart attacks, blood clots, hospital infections and medication errors, according to a new report by the New York City Comptroller's office.

 

According to the New York Times, although city hospitals accounted for almost half the patients statewide in 2006, city hospitals reported about 39 adverse incidents per 10,000 patient discharges, compared with nearly 70 per 10,000 in the northern suburbs and upstate and nearly 64 per 10,000 on Long Island.

 

The report does not indicate that hospitals with higher numbers of incidents reported are providing lesser treatment, but are, rather more diligent in providing data on adverse incidents. While New York City hospitals made up half the patients in the state in 2006, they reported 39 adverse events per 10,000 patients, compared to 70 per 10,000 in hospitals in northern suburbs, and 64 per 10,000 on Long Island.

 

The report, which looks at data from 2004 through 2006, with some additional data from 2007, echoes a state Health Department study in 2001 that similarly concluded that New York City underreported adverse incidents, with 6 of the 11 city-run public hospitals among the 25 lowest reporters.

 

(Sources: The New York Times, http://nytimes.com, accessed March 16, 2009; HCPro Accreditation Connection, http://hcpro.com, Mach 16, 2009)