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Study finds safety events largely unresolved

Patients in Oklahoma hospitals may be the victim of a health IT-related patient safety error. However, a majority of those errors are not being addressed according to a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management. The study looked at 1.7 million safety events overall to find those that were related to health IT. Researchers then sorted the health IT events into four groups based on how the problems were resolved.

Of events that were resolved, 55% were resolved by recommending more training. However, training may not necessarily be the best way to prevent future errors from occurring. This is because IT and biomedical departments may not always communicate or work with each other. Hospitals have recognized this and are starting to create ways to integrate the two departments in an effort to improve patient care and outcomes.

Faulty medical devices can also lead to issues with patient care. For instance, incomplete information may be transmitted from a machine or from a lab to an electronic health record. A lack of information may lead to delays that could harm patients. Finally, it can be in a hospital or other medical facility's best interest to ensure that all events are resolved. According to the MedStar Health study, two-thirds of events had no resolution.

If hospital negligence results in an individual getting sick or injured, that person may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some cases, these matters may be resolved outside of court. Individuals who believe that malpractice occurred may benefit from the assistance of an attorney.

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