Inpatient stays can results in a range of adverse events, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Medication errors and falls top the list of adverse events that may take place when you’re hospitalized, a recent study found. Johns Hopkins physician David Newman-Toker, lead author of a study looking at adverse events resulting from emergency department visits, says the rates of such events were similar, whether inpatient or ED.

Newman-Toker: Somewhere between 20 and 25% of these inpatient stays are associated with an adverse event. I have to say that those numbers are fairly unsurprising, and they’re also probably low. And the reason why they’re low is they note in their paper that their methodology for detecting adverse events systematically underrecognizes diagnostic errors. I actually think the numbers there are a floor estimate and not a ceiling estimate, and yet they found very similar rates of serious adverse events, on the order of magnitude of 2 per 1000.  :31

Newman-Toker says a number of different strategies are underway to reduce adverse events. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.