Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Report: Doctors overlook as many as 90 percent of hospital errors

    A recent study that uses a new method for identifying medical errors indicates that as many as 90 percent of hospital mistakes are overlooked. The study suggests that the prevalence of medical malpractice is grossly underestimated and the hospital error rate may be 10 times greater than previously believed, USA Today reports.

    “The more you look for errors, the more you find,” one researcher said.

    The majority of hospitals track errors through voluntary error reporting or coding systems recommended by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The researchers conducting the study used a new method called the Global Trigger Tool.

    When the Global Trigger Tool and AHRQ methods were tested on 795 patient records, the AHRQ method revealed 35 errors but the Global Trigger Tool found 354 errors in the same records, USA Today reports. Some researchers are not surprised by the large disparity in the numbers.

    “Nobody is surprised that systems that rely on voluntary reporting would tend to let a high percentage of cases fall through the cracks,” a researcher said. “It’s not a surprise that a method based on careful chart abstraction by knowledgeable reviewers would do a much better job in tracking adverse events.”

    Researchers also noted that the number of errors is likely greater because both error tracking systems rely on medical records and cannot detect as many errors as in-person observation.

    The most common errors found were medication errors which are common portland personal injury. Errors in surgical and nonsurgical procedure, and common infections were also found. “These are the areas where we have always found problems,” a researcher said. “Obviously, we still have a lot of room for improvement.”

  • Researchers create a formula to detect texting drivers

    The dangers of texting while driving are now well known. Studies have shown that the level of impairment and distraction for a driver while texting is similar to that of an intoxicated driver. Reaction times are much too slow and we have seen countless car accidents caused by texting drivers. Regulators have struggled to create laws that act as an effective deterrent, although efforts in some states have had noticeable benefits.

    Now, a physicist has found a way to stop the behavior at the source – the phone. Researchers have detected a pattern in finger movements for text messages being typed while driving. People apparently have more erratic typing motions while driving, much like someone stumbling while they walk.

    Researchers have created an equation that predicts whether or not a phone user is driving that is 99 percent accurate. The equation would theoretically allow software developers to create an application that locks the phone or shuts it down if a user is driving and texting.

    This is an exciting safety innovation and would help act as a deterrent to the dangerous behavior without necessary legal reform in every state. The physicist who developed the equation says that he thought of the idea when contemplating his daughter getting behind the wheel. He said that an application could help prevent accidents and help parents enforce safe driving habits for their teens.

    It could also have applications in law enforcement, similar to the use of ignition interlocks for repeat DUI offenders and other palm beach criminal charges. “Eventually you might see something like this required on the phones of distracted drivers who’ve been involved in accidents,” he said.