MDS report: More and more patients are affected by treatment errors

MDS report: More and more patients are affected by treatment errors

The number of confirmed errors increases compared to the previous year
Whether in orthopedics, gynecology or dentistry: Last year there were more cases of confirmed treatment errors. As the medical service of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (MDS) currently reports, the number of confirmed errors rose from 3,796 in 2014 to 4,046. Many of the serious cases could have been avoided from an expert perspective.

250 more confirmed cases than in 2014
In local medical practices and hospitals, more patients have apparently become victims of a treatment error. According to a recent MDS announcement, a total of 14,828 suspected cases reported by patients were examined by the Medical Services of Health Insurance (MDK) in 2015, compared with 165 fewer in the previous year. The number of confirmed errors also rose from 3,796 to 4,046, which corresponds to an increase of 250 cases.

Orthopedics and trauma surgery top the rankings
7,693 allegations were directly related to the treatment in the operating room, which was confirmed in almost every fourth case, according to the MDS. “There has been a steady upward trend since the patient rights law came into force three years ago. Compared to the previous year, the number of allegations and thus the demand for expert reports from the MDK rose again slightly, ”said Dr. Stefan Gronemeyer, Senior Physician and Vice General Manager of the MDS, according to the announcement.

With regard to the specialist areas, most of the allegations related to orthopedics and trauma surgery (32 percent), followed by internal and general medicine as well as general surgery (11 percent each) and dentistry (9 percent). Gynecology was affected in a further seven percent, and five percent were in the area of ​​nursing.

Wide range of diseases and treatment measures affected
“However, a high number of allegations does not indicate a high number of actual treatment errors. The number rather reflects whether the patient can see for himself whether the treatment result meets his expectations or not, ”Prof. Dr. Astrid Zobel, MDK Bayern's leading doctor, quoted in the communication. If you look at the errors according to where they happened, the report also reports that surgical therapy tops the ranking with 31 percent, followed by the findings with 25 percent and nursing with 9 percent. In 150 cases the diagnosis was "dental caries", in 130 cases it was "knee wear". Despite the clear accumulation, according to Zobel, the statistics as a whole would show a broad spectrum: "The errors found concern hundreds of different diseases and treatment measures," the expert continues.

"The errors we register are the tip of an iceberg," said Stefan Gronemeyer to the news agency "dpa". Because around 12,000 patients also complained to the medical profession. 2,132 errors were found here, and it is not known how many complaints continue to be directed directly to courts, lawyers or insurance companies. According to experts, the estimated total number could therefore amount to 40,000 complaints.

Patients have avoidable pressure sores more than 70 times
According to the MDS, there are various ways of avoiding errors, but for which the damage and the causes of the errors must be dealt with. “Errors can be in not doing anything or in acting. 51 percent of the errors were caused by the fact that a necessary medical measure was either not carried out or was carried out too late, ”explains Dr. Max Skorning, Head of Patient Safety at MDS. According to the MDS expert, in 49 percent of the cases, “treatment was poorly implemented” or “a less sensible, sometimes even a contraindicated measure was taken”. According to statistics, avoidable errors caused 71 pressure sores in patients in the clinic, 35 things in an operation, such as e.g. Swabs remained in the body.

In view of these results, the green health expert Maria Klein-Schmeink asked the coalition to take legal steps to avoid treatment errors. "This requires nationwide monitoring by an independent body and a binding error reporting and avoidance system," the politician told the "dpa". Eugen Brysch, board member of the German Patient Protection Foundation, also appealed to the legislature to introduce a central treatment error register. (No)

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