Preventable Hospital Errors

Friday, January 30, 2015

Preventable hospital errors have long plagued U.S. hospitals. But one report by the federal government indicates the number of errors is on the decline. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the report in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Preventable problems such as infections, bed sores and medication errors fell 17 percent at U.S. hospitals from 2010 to 2013.

The federal government report also said the 1.3 million fewer problems during that time saved the lives of about 50,000 patients and about $12 billion in health care costs.

Factors that may have contributed to the decrease include public reporting of errors and financial penalties implemented under the Affordable Care Act. The report said these preventable problems still affect one in 10 hospital patients.

The problems examined in the report included surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, bed sores and medication errors. Most of the overall decline in these problems came from a drop in medication errors and bed sores.

Much more still can be done to improve health care quality and to determine the types of patient safety measures that are most effective in hospitals. But the data represented in the report represents significant progress in improving the quality of care that patients receive.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.