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NV presses hospitals for full accounting of preventable injuries

Las Vegas Sun, July 16, 2010

State officials released data on preventable injuries and infections in Nevada hospitals Thursday that mirror the findings of a Las Vegas Sun investigation. The newspaper’s analysis of hospital billing records on file with the state has shown a wide discrepancy between the cases of patient harm detailed in those records and the number that hospitals have reported to the state as so-called sentinel events — unexpected incidents that cause injury, or the risk thereof, in a hospital. The Nevada State Health Division analysis found hospital patients suffered 342 preventable injuries or infections during the second half of 2009, while facilities reported only 44 sentinel events. Each of the 342 cases might fit Nevada’s definition of a sentinel event.