There are a number of operations and issues that go on at hospitals and people do not even know about it or consider it on a regular basis. In fact, there are errors and mix-ups that can threaten the health and safety of patients.
Until now, the data from inspections was kept under wraps from the public but there is a new proposal from officials in federal health that will push the data into the public eye.
The Push for Awareness
As it turns out the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is pushing to require private health accreditors to provide inspection information publicly. In addition to this, hospitals will need to provide detailed information about the steps toward fixing the problems reported.
90% of hospitals in the country are overseen by private health care accreditors as opposed to the government. Regulators are concerned that the accreditors are missing out on serious issues at the hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
What CMS Does
Annually, CMS selects a sample of different hospitals and other facilities that are accredited by private groups and they do their own inspections. This is done as a backup to validate the data provided by the groups. According to a 2016 report, the accredited organizations missed many errors that were indeed discovered by the state.
One example was in 2014 when CMS officials looked over 103 different hospitals that had undergone accreditor review in a period of sixty days. There were exactly 41 deficiencies of a serious nature and only two were found by accreditors.
Does this mean that some data is being hidden? It probably does, so making it all public will help. Now hospitals will be forced to address all hidden deficiencies openly or get caught “missing” them. This should put enough pressure on the powers that be to make positive changes.
Medical Errors and Death
It turns out that the leading cause of injuries and death in United States hospitals is medical error. Errors are not forgivable but they can be covered up. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released a report stating that 98K people die annually due to medical mistakes.
Qualification for Funding
In order for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to get federal funding, they are required to meet minimal requirements which are known as “Medicare conditions of participation.” If problems are found and they are not fixed, the hospital will lose Medicare funding.
CMS funds state health inspections to be sure that hospitals are in compliance with all of the requirements and that there are not any hidden errors or problems which could result in harm to patients. With this in higher gear now and with the data being pushed into the public eye, hospitals will be forced to do better.
At last, perhaps the incidence of deaths and injuries related to medical error will decline and people can feel much safer going into healthcare facilities when they need to. You and everyone else will be able to openly see the information on each and every hospital system.