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Two ‘adverse health events’ reported at Bemidji hospital

BEMIDJI – Sanford Bemidji Medical Center reported two “adverse health events” from October 2011 to October 2012, neither of which resulted in serious disability.

That’s according to a Health Department report released today. The annual report provides some data about accidental deaths and serious injuries to patients at Minnesota hospitals.

The Bemidji hospital had one instance of a foreign object left in a patient after surgery or procedure and one non-serious pressure ulcer, or bedsore.

Joy Johnson, chief operating officer of Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, said the goal always is to have zero such events.

“When we discover that something has happened, anytime anything adverse happens, we are deeply sorry and we regret that it happened, and the next step is to do the analysis and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

Events are reported and medical staff reviews the incident to develop action plans in response to prevent reoccurrence in the future, she said.

Johnson said Minnesota’s statewide reporting system has improved health care as medical centers learn not only from their own experiences, but those occurring in other facilities as well.

“It has really been an exceptional way for Minnesota as a state to share knowledge and experience in a safe environment and really raise the bar for everybody,” she said.

Further, even though full reports have been released publicly every January for nine years now, she said medical centers receive alerts throughout the year as soon as such events happen at other hospitals to raise awareness about potential new risks.

For instance, if a medical center elsewhere observes a pressure ulcer from a cervical collar, an alert would be sent to facilities throughout the state to notify them of the potential risk.

“Before you have the experience, you can prevent it from learning from someone else’s situation,” she said.