Hospitals moving to change culture, admit mistakes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- More than a dozen serious medical errors were reported at Middle Tennessee hospitals over the past three years -- and federal statistics indicate probably 80 more were not reported.

In the past, hospitals have been reluctant to admit mistakes, fearing malpractice lawsuits. But hospitals are increasingly under pressure to reduce errors, and to do that, they have to recognize them. The result is the beginning of a cultural change, according to The Tennessean.

At Nashville's Baptist Hospital a 3-week-old infant died in 2009 when a nurse confused a feeding line and an IV line.

Since the accident, they have changed to color-coded tubing that will not cross-connect, among other improvements.

Hospital officials say the number of serious safety events has gone from 17 in 2008 to one last year.


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