Surgical injuries in Las Vegas hospitals, 1999 to 2009

By Tyson Anderson, Alex Richards, Chris Morris

Sources: Nevada Hospital Inpatient Data and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Sun used federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality methods to compare accidental punctures or lacerations, as identified in Nevada hospital billing records, with expected national norms. AHRQ has developed software that risk-adjusts surgical injury cases in individual hospitals to create an “expected” rate of injuries. The rate at each hospital then can be fairly compared to the national rate. The Sun is reporting the percent difference between the expected rate, and the actual rate, of surgical injuries. The Sun is reporting the percent difference between the expected rate and the actual rate of surgical injuries.

*Sunrise Health System’s data from 2008 and 2009 are omitted because they are inaccurately reported. State officials said the hospitals are correcting the errors.

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The data showed eight categories of harm including bedsores, infections, bone breaks and foreign objects accidentally retained after surgery.

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