Thousands of Danes dying due to preventable medical errors every year – The Post

Thousands of Danes dying due to preventable medical errors every year

Danish Society for Patient Safety believes a streamlined system for reporting errors could help prevent deaths

Anywhere between 1,200 and 3,000 people needlessly die in Denmark every year (photo: iStock)
May 30th, 2016 7:44 am| by Shifa Rahaman

According to figures released by the Danish Society for Patient Safety, between 1,200 and 3,000 people die due to medical errors and injuries sustained during improper hospitalisation in Denmark every year.

Over half of those deaths could be preventable if patients were guaranteed optimal treatment, reports Berlingske.

Fix the system
Camilla Hersom, the chair of Danske Patienter, has now called upon the medical community to fix what she believes are problems with the system of reporting medical errors in the country.

“While we have a great system in Denmark for reporting errors, when studying the data, we are unable to find out the extent, and we believe there is a lot of knowledge to be gained if we start to systemise it in the right way,” she said.

Shared responsibility 
Hersom sees the task of making changes to the system as a shared responsibility.

“It is obvious that healthcare professionals have a responsibility [in making the system better],” she told DR.

“However, patients share some responsibility and should report errors if any occur. We need to change the system so we are able to follow up and fix mistakes more efficiently.”

This story has been corrected, as it originally claimed Camilla Hersom was the chair of  the Danish Society for Patient Safety.