Minnesota is one of only a handful of states to issue annual reports about medical errors, and is currently the only state that reports individual hospital numbers.

The most recent report marks the ninth year that the state has issued error reports. Statewide, Minnesota hospitals reported 314 adverse health events in 2012, comparable to the 316 errors reported in 2011. While there were fewer mistakes in 2012 regarding foreign objects left inside patients after surgery, pressure ulcers, and medication errors, there were more injuries related to patient falls and suicides.

[The Minnesota Department of Health has called for further training on suicide prevention. Four people committed suicide in Minnesota Hospitals last year, and two others suffered serious harm from suicide attempts.]

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Out of 12,673 surgeries performed in 2012, the Mayo Clinic Health System (Austin) reported just one error: an incorrect lens implant during eye surgery, which did not cause serious disability.

Medication errors dropped by 75% from last year and were at the lowest level in all nine years of reporting. Other positive changes included a decline in retained foreign objects by 16% (the first decline in this category in five years) and a decline in pressure ulcers by 9% from last year (the first significant decline in this category in nine years). Minnesota law requires hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to report serious errors and investigate the cause.

The “Adverse Health Events in Minnesota” report examines errors in six categories: surgical, environmental, patient protection, care management, products and devices, and criminal events. The report can be accessed here.