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How Safe Is Your Hospital?

Credit Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

Medical mistakes are among the nation’s leading causes of death. Since 2006, the Washington State Department of Health has required hospitals to report their “adverse events.” These include 29 kinds of medical errors and other serious, largely preventable problems. They don’t include hazards like hospital-acquired infections or complications that force patients to be readmitted shortly after they’ve been sent home.

The KUOW interactive below — based on health department data — is not the whole picture. Hospitals with better records may simply be less forthcoming about their adverse events. Hospitals with worse records may perform more complicated, risk-prone procedures or treat more fragile, higher-risk patients.

For more, see our stories on “retained foreign objects,patient falls and medication errors.

Help John Ryan follow up on this story.