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VA Hospitals Have Lower Rates of Adverse Events in Psychiatric Units

Adverse events, medical errors lower in VA versus community-based inpatient psychiatric units

man sleeping in hospital bed

TUESDAY, Oct. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatric inpatients at community-based hospitals are twice as likely to experience adverse events (AEs) or medical errors (MEs) as inpatients at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals, according to a study published in the November issue of Medical Care.

Sara W. Cullen, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed medical records to assess the prevalence of AEs and MEs among 4,371 psychiatric discharges from 14 community-based general hospitals and 8,005 psychiatric discharges from 40 VHA hospitals.

The researchers found that the overall rate of AEs and MEs in inpatient psychiatric units of VHA hospitals was 7.11 and 1.49 per 100 patient discharges, respectively, versus 13.48 and 3.01 per 100 patient discharges, respectively, at community-based acute care hospitals. Compared with VHA hospitals, the adjusted odds ratios of a patient experiencing an AE or ME at community-based hospitals were 2.11 and 2.08, respectively.

"Findings suggest that safety-oriented patient care processes at VHA facilities may serve as a model for safety improvement at community-based hospitals," a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to Allergan, Alkermes, Johnson & Johnson, Sage, and Sunovion.

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