Govt. Stops Collecting Data on 8 Key Medical Errors

August 8, 2014 at 9:07 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations | Leave a comment

According to a report published in USA Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped reporting data on 8 key medical errors.  Some of these errors, which are referred to as “hospital acquired conditions” (HACs), include foreign objects being left in a patient after surgery and the wrong blood type being used in a transfusion.  The general public used to be able to refer to the Hospital Compare website to discover this information, but last summer it was moved to a spreadsheet that was more difficult to find and decipher.  Now, the information is no longer available at all and the only option left is to try and calculate rates based on claims data.

When asked about the change, CMS explained some of the dropped information, such as bloodstream infections, can be found in other data that they still collect.  There was also a desire to make the information they continue to report “more comprehensive and most relevant to consumers”. [Source: USA Today]  There has also been some doubts about the reliability of the data that used to be collected.  Patient advocates, of course, argue that people should have access to this information even if there is some questions about the data.  For now, however, librarians and other people searching for information on these 8 HCAs will have to dig a lot deeper than they used to. 

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