Intel Briefing – February 2012

Medicare study shows most medical errors go unreported.

A new study released the first week in January 2012 by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), found hospital employees are only reporting 14 percent of all medical errors and usually do not change their practices to prevent future harm to patients. Federal regulations require hospitals to track all medical errors and adverse events that harm patients and to implement preventive measures to protect patients. Only five of the 293 reported cases of medical errors reviewed by federal investigators led to changes in policies or practices by hospitals. The OIG report recommends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide hospitals with a standard list of medical errors that should be tracked and reported to the agency.


Losing the cops in a foot chase? There’s an app for that.

Law enforcement officials in Maryland issued a warning about the increasing use of smartphones and Web-based services to listen in on law enforcement radio transmissions. Gang members, officials warn, are using smart phone apps to get a jump on enforcement efforts and, in at least one case, to evade capture during a foot chase. The warning, from the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC) is titled “Criminal Use of Police Scanner Apps.” It describes several recent “contacts with criminal gang members” within Maryland during which “law enforcement agency (personnel) has heard their radio transmissions broadcast over a suspect’s smart phone.” In one instance, “officers pursuing a suspect on foot overheard the suspect listening to the pursuing officers’ radio transmission over a smart phone” with a 3- second delay. Gang members and associates are using mobile applications and radio enthusiast Web sites to find and monitor secure channels used by law enforcement over the Internet.

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