Patients often victims of treatment errors

treatment error: trend to more suspected cases continues
treatment errors can have serious consequences for those affected, ranging to lethal complications. The latest figures from the Medical Service of Health Insurance( MDK) for the year 2014 show that a high number of suspected treatment errors continued to be recorded and that numerous deaths were recorded.

In total, the medical services of the health insurance have investigated 14,663 treatment error reproaches in 2014 and in every fourth case, the suspicion of patients was confirmed by the reviewers, according to the press release of the Medical Service of the GKV-Spitzenverbandes( MDS).This requires an open approach to the mistakes and a new safety culture in order to better protect patients in the future.

No clear-cut in treatment errors
The number of suspected treatment errors increased again slightly in 2014( from 14,585 to 14,663 suspected cases) and confirmed treatment errors continued to increase. In 3,796 cases( 3,687 cases in 2013), the MDK reviewers concluded that the allegation of a treatment error was justified."The number of assessed treatment error reproaches is persistently high - so far we can give as a medical service no all-clear," reminds dr. Stefan Gronemeyer, Chief Physician and Deputy Managing Director of MDS.

Attempting to deal with treatment errors
According to the expert, "even in the utmost care, mistakes happen in the hospital, in the doctor's office and in the care." Here, the experts are concerned with an open handling of the errors, first and foremost with the patients accordinglybe compensated. But also so that the errors can be systematically analyzed and avoided in the future. The focus is on the question of which circumstances led to the error, said Gronemeyer.

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    Photo: © Ingo Otto The most common suspected treatment failure after surgery. Picture: klick61 / fotolia.com

    Many cases of suspected surgery
    Almost two-thirds of the treatment error reproaches were hospitalized and one-third related to allegations against a general practitioner, according to the MDS.In terms of treatment, most treatment errors have been reported during surgical procedures. According to the MDS, 7,845 cases were directly related to an operation. However, this does not necessarily have to do with the increased treatment errors in the area, but the experience of the MDK suggests that in a postoperative course of treatment that does not meet the expectations, the suspicion of a treatment error obvious, while errors in the medication of patients often not noticedwill be explained by MDK Bayern's senior doctor, Prof. Dr. med. Astrid Zobel. In the end only 24.3 percent of the suspected errors in the surgical procedures were confirmed by experts.

    Highest confirmed failure rate in
    While most treatment error reproaches related to surgery, the most common allegation was a false reproach, according to the MDS in nursing( 57.8 percent of 590 cases).This was followed by dentistry, in which 39.2 percent of 1,419 cases were confirmed by experts, general surgery with 27.5 percent of 1,642 cases and gynecology and obstetrics with 27 percent of 1,144 cases. In total, in 155 cases, patients died from the consequences of a mistake or related complications, reports the news agency "dpa", citing the figures of the MDK.

    Large number of unreported cases of treatment errors
    According to Prof. Zobel, the statistics of the MDK community indicate that this does not reflect the quality of treatment because it does not represent the total number of treatments and treatment errors. Moreover, "a high number of unreported cases can be assumed, because errors do not always come to light as such and thus are not recognizable to patients or to practitioners," says Zobel. In addition, "patients are probably often unable or can not decide to pursue a suspected fault," explains the expert.(fp)

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