Maryland hospitals report more problems to state

There was a significant uptick in the number of serious problems reported by Maryland hospitals in fiscal 2010, according to the annual report on patient care and safety released by state health officials.

There were 265 top level adverse events reported in 2010, compared with 190 the year before. Health officials attributed the rise to better identification and reporting rather than more problems – particularly when it came to pressure ulcers.

Falls remained the No. 1 adverse event at the hospital. They were followed by pressure ulcers and delays in treatment. These top level problems resulted in the death of a patient or serious injury.

The hospitals were not named in the report, though the larger ones with more complex cases reported more problems, according to the state Office of Health Care Quality, which has been collecting the information from hospitals for six years.

"We recognize Maryland hospitals' continued efforts to improve patient safety in their facilities," Nancy B. Grimm, director of the office, said in a statement. "Increased reporting by hospitals is an indication of engaged and proactive patient safety programs, which ultimately promotes positive patient safety outcomes. The greater the reporting, the better results for patients."

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