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Medical errors cost US $8.8B, result in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths: HealthGrades study
Date:4/7/2008

iod, while both bed sores and post-operative respiratory failure worsened during the study period.

  • Of the 270,491 deaths that occurred among patients who developed one or more patient safety incidents, 238,337 were potentially preventable.

    If all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety, approximately 220,106 patient safety incidents and 37,214 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.0 billion during 2004 to 2006.

    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, said Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades' chief medical officer and the primary author of the study. 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.

    The fifth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study applies methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify the incident rates of 16 patient safety indicators among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation's nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals. Additionally, HealthGrades applied its methodology using 13 patient safety indicators to identify the best-performing hospitals, or Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety, which represent the top five percent of all U.S. hospitals.

    Ratings for individual hospitals were posted today to HealthGrades' consumer Web site, www.healthgrades.com.

    The following are the 16 patient-safety inc
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  • Contact: Scott Shapiro
    sshapiro@healthgrades.com
    720-963-6584
    HealthGrades
    Source:Eurekalert

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