Treatment errors: patient protection through register

Treatment errors: patient protection through register

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Report: Medical Association counts around 2,200 treatment errors

Last year, around 12,000 patients in Germany complained to the medical associations about suspected treatment errors. According to the latest issue of the news magazine "Spiegel", the suspicion was confirmed in around 2,200 cases.

Around 12,000 complaints about suspected treatment errors received around 12,000 patient complaints about suspected treatment errors in 2013. 8,000 of the cases have been closed. In around 2,200 cases, the suspicion was confirmed, as reported in the latest issue of the news magazine "Spiegel", citing current data from the chambers. This is a slight decrease compared to 2012, for which the chambers reported 2,280 treatment errors. And in 2011, with 2,287 cases, slightly more treatment errors were reported than in 2013.

Constant pressure to perform and long working hours The President of the German Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, attributed the current figures to the growing stress of doctors. He is quoted in the “Spiegel”: “The work intensity in German clinics and medical practices has been increasing for years.” Constant pressure to perform and long working hours would have increased the likelihood of errors. It is therefore “remarkable” that the number of registered treatment errors has remained largely constant in recent years. Last year, a total of 7,578 people had their medical care checked for errors in treatment by expert commissions and arbitration boards. The experts demonstrated a treatment error in about 30 percent of all the complaints.

Most allegations in connection with suspected surgery are also examined by the statutory health insurance companies. The medical service of the health insurance (MDK) prepared around 14,600 reports in 2013 and found almost 3,700 treatment errors, reports the news magazine. Almost 70 percent of the allegations were directed against hospitals, the remaining 30 percent concerned a resident doctor. According to the MDK, as in previous years, most allegations were made in connection with surgery; orthopedics or trauma surgery and general surgery were most frequently confronted with allegations of treatment errors. (ad)

Video: Patient Safety Part 1


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