VA Hospitals reduce medical errors by twenty five percent

A study in the Archives of Surgery has found that medical procedures and surgeries on the wrong patient and wrong body part have declined 25% in Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide while reports of close calls have increased, according to the Washington Post.

The article states that he study compares data from from mid-2006 to 2009 to data from the previous five years.  During that time, the number of reported close calls increased from about 2 per month to 3 per month, while the number of actual errors dropped. 

Clinicians at VA hospitals are required to report near misses as part of their quality improvement efforts. 

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, July 20, 2011; The Washington Post,, July 18, 2011)