Navigation Links
Medical Errors Costing U.S. Billions

Mistakes resulted in 238,337 preventable deaths from 2006-08, survey finds

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study.

This analysis of 41 million Medicare patient records, released April 8 by HealthGrades, a health care ratings organization, found that patients treated at top-performing hospitals were, on average, 43 percent less likely to experience one or more medical errors than patients at the poorest-performing hospitals.

The overall medical error rate was about 3 percent for all Medicare patients, which works out to about 1.1 million patient safety incidents during the three years included in the analysis.

Among the other findings:

  • Patients who experienced a patient safety incident had a 20 percent chance of dying as a result of the incident.
  • The overall death rate among patients who experienced one or more patient safety incidents fell by almost 5 percent between 2004 and 2006.
  • However, over that time, there were increases in post-operative respiratory failure, post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, post-operative sepsis (blood infection), and post-operative abdominal wound separation/splitting.
  • The most common types of medical errors were bed sores, failure to rescue, and post-operative respiratory failure. Together, they accounted for 63.4 percent of incidents. Failure to rescue improved 11.1 percent from 2004 to 2006, while both bed sores and post-operative respiratory failure worsened during that time.
  • Of the 270,491 deaths that occurred among patients who experienced one or more patient safety incidents, 238,337 were potentially preventable, the researchers said.
  • If all hospitals performed at the level of the top-ranked hospitals, about 220,106 patient safety incidents and 37,214 patient deaths could have been avoided, and about $2 billion could have been saved.

"While many U.S. hospitals have taken extensive action to prevent medical errors, the prevalence of likely preventable patient safety incidents is taking a costly toll on our health care systems -- in both lives and dollars," Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades' chief medical officer and primary author of the study, said in a prepared statement.

"HealthGrades has documented in numerous studies the significant and largely unchanging gap between top-performing and poor-performing hospitals. It is imperative that hospitals recognize the benchmarks set by the Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety are achievable and associated with higher safety and markedly lower cost," Collier said.

Starting Oct. 1, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will stop reimbursing hospitals for the treatment of eight major preventable errors, including objects left in the body after surgery and certain kinds of post-surgical infections.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how patients can prevent medical errors.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: HealthGrades, news release, April 8, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. William F. Northrup, III, M.D. Joins CryoLife as Vice President of Medical Relations and Education
2. Johns Hopkins Medical School Sets Research and Teaching Collaboration with University of Patras in Greece
3. Medical errors cost US $8.8B, result in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths: HealthGrades study
4. VNUS Medical Technologies to Report First-Quarter 2008 Results and Webcast Teleconference on April 21
5. Medical Device Manufacturers Association Joins the National Healthcare Career Network
6. ReBuilder Medical Technologies, Inc. Seeks a Bigger and More Credible Equity Market - NASDAQ, here we come!
7. Edmond Medical Center to Provide Free Cataract Surgeries
8. Medical Futures signs North American licensing rights to New Biologic agent for Ulcerative Colitis
9. Pioneering Heart Surgeon, Robert E. Michler, M.D., Appointed Chair of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Einstein and at Montefiore Medical Center
10. Parker Extends Precise Medical Seal Capability; Acquires Hi-Tech Group Companies
11. ReBuilder Medical Technologies, Inc. Reports 1st Quarter 2008 Sales Increase of Over 88%
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Medical Errors Costing U.S. Billions
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people ... how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, ... editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts ... applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention ... health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 According to a ... (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, ... Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & ... studies the market for the forecast period of 2016 ... 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 VolitionRx ... of Dr. Edward Futcher to the ... effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also appointed ... Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of the ... and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  MedSource announced today that it has ... solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s ... their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data ... nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice in ... "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: