New rules adopted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of HealthCare Organizations will require hospitals to tell patients if they’ve been injured by medical mistakes. Hospitals in Iowa are already doing most of those things. Iowa Hospital Association V-P Greg Boattenhamer says hospitals are free to develop their own ways to reach the joint commission goals for good care. Boattenhamer says computers help, but only with some things. Drugs can be dispensed more accurately and there isn’t a problem deciphering handwriting. But he says you can get away from human evaluation of treatment. Boattenhamer doesn’t think the rule requiring reporting of medical mistakes will put doctors and hospitals at odds.Society’s used to seeing lawsuits, and wants people held accountable. But he says healthcare naturally involves some risks, and there isn’t basically a conflict between doctors and hospitals. Boattenhamer says the reason for the new rules is to ensure hospitals follow standard procedures, and clarify what it takes for them to be accredited.
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