Every January, the annual report about "adverse events" in Minnesota hospitals inevitably makes patients cringe - especially when doctors perform the wrong surgery.
Now a new report says that nearly 40 percent of last year's wrong surgeries were related to implants such as eye lenses.
Last week, state health and hospital officials published a "patient safety alert" to help hospitals avoid those mistakes in the future.
The guidelines spell out a step-by-step process to help surgical teams verifythat they have the right implant before the patient arrives in the operating room.
The guidelines, which can be found at www.startribune.com/a1290, were issued jointly by the Minnesota Hospital Association, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Patient Safety Registry.