February 2016
State report puts focus on hospital patient safety

The 12th annual Adverse Health Event Report was issued by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on February 19. The report lists the occurrences of 29 reportable adverse health events in Minnesota hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers in the last year. Minnesota hospitals share information through the adverse event reporting system with the ultimate goal to make patient care safer.


Statewide, there were a total of 316 adverse health events in Minnesota hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers during the reporting period of October 7, 2014, through October, 6, 2015.


Mercy Hospital has three events listed in the report. Mercy reported one fall that resulted in patient injury during the reporting period and two wrong procedures. The types of wrong procedures included in this category include smaller items like tubes, catheters and lens implants.


“We are deeply sorry that these events occurred,” said Mike Delfs, Mercy CEO. “Behind each event is a patient and family. We have taken steps to prevent this from happening again by investigating what went wrong, putting systems in place to fix the problem and sharing the lessons we learned with other hospitals.”


In addition, Mercy’s ongoing, proactive safety efforts include participation in a number of safety initiatives sponsored by the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), Stratis Health and other organizations. These voluntary initiatives target specific safety issues and identify safety measures and procedures that are considered best practice. For example, Mercy is participating in Safe from Falls 3.0, MHA’s safety road map to reduce falls that focuses on screening and assessment of fall and injury risk factors; linking interventions to specific risk factors; learning from events; and safe environment. Mercy also is taking part in the Safe Procedures road map that addresses safety across the board for invasive procedures.  Key measures in this road map focus on continuing to improve surgical team communication and use of the time out process.


 “Our staff continues to work hard to adopt the best practice safety measures identified through these initiatives,” Delfs said.  “Mercy recorded 6,555 patient days and 4,384 surgeries last year, but even one adverse event is unacceptable. Our highest priority is the care and safety of our patients.”


For questions about Mercy’s patient safety initiatives, contact Mike Delfs, CEO; Trina Lower, Director of Quality and Health Information; or Donita Korpela, Director of Patient Care Services, at 218-485-4481.


A full copy of the adverse health events report can be found on MHA’s website at 


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