Quality & Patient Safety

Australia: Queensland hospitals worst in patient safety

Patient Safety Monitor: Global Edition, February 3, 2009

A recent report by the Productivity Commission found that Queensland hospitals show some of the worst records for sentinel events as a result of adverse operations, medication errors, and other medical mistakes, according to The Australian.

The report also found that Queensland accounts for more than a quarter of the nation's total medical errors. Between 2006 and 2007, Queensland hospitals conducted medical procedures on the wrong person or wrong body part 33 times, reports the Australian. These numbers do not include six other patients who died from medication errors or three other patients who had medical instruments or materials left in them after surgery.

Queensland's hospitals readmitting rates are also 35% higher than the national average, according to the Australian. Though the government is now requiring state hospitals to report their performance, hospitals are not currently penalized for ill-performance.

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