More Hospital Errors than we thought?

Originally posted 4-13-2011:
Last week a new study came out claiming that one in three patient will be exposed to a medical error during a hospital stay. According to the article, the study explored a new method of measuring healthcare quality to detect events. The researchers looked at the same 795 patient records, and counted the number of events based on three methods of quality measurement: voluntary reporting, the current AHRQ quality indicator, and a new tool developed by the IHI. 

Voluntary reporting came out to a very low percentage, which I didn't find very surprising. However, I was shocked that the new IHI tool identified 10 times the events compared to the AHRQ quality indicators. I know that it is very possible for errors to go undetected, and I know there is a lot of room for improvement to improve the safety and quality of healthcare. But 10 times more errors?!?!?  Even I am a little skeptical at these numbers. 

I would like to learn more about the new IHI tool to better understand how they measure medical errors. What I hope is that the new measurements are a little more aggressive in what they determine is a medical error. It doesn't hurt to error on the side of caution and set a higher quality standard for healthcare. But if there were truly 354 events found within those 795 patient records - well then, the problems may indeed be greater than anyone imagined.

I would encourage anyone reading this to help provide me some insight into what they may know about these new quality measures.