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Patient Safety Studies Differ in Wisconsin, Minnesota

Wisconsin hospitals perform about half-million surgical procedures a year.. which provides a lot of opportunity for mistakes or oversight to occur.

To prevent that, hospitals and staff have all kinds of safeguards.

Unlike 20 other states, there's no law requiring that mistakes be reported. Instead, there's a volunteer system, which gives local hospitals some pretty good marks.

Since Wisconsin doesn't have that kind of law, hospital administrators focus on what they can do to ensure their patients don't suffer injury during their stay.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association has a voluntary program called Checkpoint. It gives participating hospitals a score that shows how effective their patient safety measures are.

Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire got one of the higher scores of the hosptials surveyed.

Administrators are quick to mention that safety is a top priority no matter what service they provide.

"We do it the same way every time whether it's a big procedure or small," said Mark Anderson of Sacred Heart, "so it's a part of what we do and so we prevent any errors along those lines."

Orange stickers indicate which patients are more likely to suffer a fall the cause of many adverse health event deaths in Minnesota during a 15-month study.

Even the youngest patients are tracked by an ankle braclet that triggers a computer noise when it goes by each room.

Experts suggest speaking up if you're unsure about anything that goes on while you're under hospital care.

"Know what their medications are for, know what the treament plan they're following is they can be an active part."

The state department of health lists a number of ways to be an active part of your treatment at the hospital on their website:

http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm

Here's a link to a list of results from WHA's patient safety study:

http://www.wicheckpoint.org/reports/list.php?ami=checked&chf=checked&cap=checked&category=safety&ep=checked&search=®ion=-1&type=0&size=-1&filter=Submit


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