Serious Medical Errors: Aetna Tightens Patient Safety Measures

March 2, 2017

Aetna, a leader in American health benefits, is introducing new policies that will alert patients to ways to reduce the instances of medical errors in healthcare facilities. This effort by Aetna is one more way policyholders can maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the occurrence of disease. This move is Aetna’s own way of improving health care. The new policies will require that healthcare facilities and its professional workforce take action against medical errors that are preventable.

“We are mindful that every healthcare professional and facility intends to provide the best possible care,” says Aetna’s chief medical officer Lonny Reisman. “Still, as many as 98,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors”.

For Aetna members, there will be ample assistance through the Aetna Navigator website. One the website, members can find helpful information about preparing for medical procedures that will help them prevent common medical errors.

Aetna has also created policies for Serious Reportable Events (SREs), which are preventable conditions that may occur while a patient is under the care of a healthcare professional. These conditions, which include leaving objects in patients after surgery, are situations that should, by no means, take place in a healthcare facility. When Aetna is notified of an SRE, the company will then facilitate quality improvement procedures for the healthcare facility in which the SRE took place.

The new policies also consider “Never Events”, which include performing operations on a mistaken body part or person, as well as performing the wrong surgery altogether. Healthcare professionals and the facilities by which they are employed will be required to waive all medical costs if a Never Event is executed.