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Nearly 70,000 patients injured in Ontario’s hospitals each year, auditor says

Nearly 70,000 patients are injured while receiving care in Ontario's hospitals each year, the province's auditor general said Wednesday, calling for immediate government action to help reduce that number.

In her 2019 annual report, Bonnie Lysyk said her team's audits of acute-care centres found that six in every 100 patients treated and discharged from provincial hospitals were harmed during care.

"Each year, Ontario hospitals discharge one million people," Lysyk said. "Of those, about 67,000 people were harmed during their hospital stay."

The audit found that hospitals are currently not required to report to the Ministry of Health so-called "never-events" — a medical error that should never happen, such as leaving a foreign object inside a patient.

Lysyk said her team visited six of the 13 hospitals that track "never-events," and found that 214 such incidents had occurred since 2015.

Ontario's rates of patient harm are the second-highest in Canada, after Nova Scotia.

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Source: Niagara Falls Review, 5 December 2019


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