4 errors in 4 weeks, including incorrect spine surgery: Rhode Island Hospital to commit $1M to quality improvement efforts

Practice Management

Providence-based Rhode Island Hospital will introduce system improvement measures after reports of four patient errors surfaced in four weeks, according to Providence Journal.

Here are five things to know:

1. A consent agreement between the hospital and Rhode Island's department of health outlines that Rhode Island Hospital will implement a "series of system improvement measures" over the next year. The consent agreement is in place of regulatory action.

2. In February and March, three patients at the hospital received tests intended for other patients. Additionally, a surgeon performed surgery on the incorrect area of a patient's spine. None of the patients experienced complications related to the errors.

3. In a statement, the state health department noted the hospital will commit a minimum of $1 million to improvement efforts.

4. Rhode Island Hospital released a statement regarding the patient errors and consent agreement, reinforcing commitment to "adhering to all the requirements established by the Department of Health to help prevent errors in the future." The statement outlines actions the hospital has already taken, including educational forums for the radiology department on how to enhance care delivery as well as implementation of new education protocols, such as improved hand-off procedures.

5. Rhode Island Hospital also released an internal memo from President Margaret M. Van Bree, which in part read, "While Rhode Island Hospital is a national leader in patient safety and quality, we are not perfect. When mistakes occur, we must acknowledge them and act immediately to improve care."

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