We’ve all heard horror stories of medical errors – an operation on the wrong knee, operating equipment left behind in a patient. Medical errors like these are described as “never events” and hospitals across the country have focused on how to improve patient safety and reduce preventable errors like these. Minnesota is recognized as a nationwide leader in the effort to reduce never events.
On June 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Regions Hospital as part of a national tour to highlight a new initiative to improve patient safety while reducing health care costs.
One of the partners of this initiative, Regions Hospital is recognized as a leader in reducing “never events.” During her visit, Secretary Sebelius toured an operating room and was given a first-hand glimpse of the safety procedures in place. Surgeon Gary Collins, MD, member of the Health Care UST MBA program, walked the secretary through the Regions safety checklist and showed her a unique—and low-tech—strategy to reducing medical errors: a towel.