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Study: Every 1.7 minutes a Medicare beneficiary experiences a patient safety event
Date:4/7/2009

GOLDEN, Colo. (April 7, 2009) The 2009 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients were identified in a report issued today by the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. These hospitals represent an elite group that save lives, save money and prevent errors at a higher rate than other U.S. hospitals.

If all hospitals performed at the level of Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals, approximately 211,697 patient safety events and 22,771 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.0 billion from 2005 through 2007. Between 2005 and 2007, 913,215 total patient safety events were recorded among Medicare beneficiaries, which represents 2.3 percent of the nearly 38 million Medicare hospitalizations. This equates to one reported patient safety event every 1.7 minutes.

For the sixth consecutive year, HealthGrades has analyzed patient safety among Medicare patients in all of the nearly 5,000 U.S. non-federal hospitals based on 15 indicators of patient safety developed by the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

This year, 242 hospitals, which represent the top five percent of all hospitals in the U.S., were recognized with a HealthGrades 2009 Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM. HealthGrades developed this award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

"Patient safety incidents are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. The sad fact is that many, if not most, of these errors are preventable. Patients shouldn't die or experience unnecessary harm as a result of medical errors in hospitals," said Rick May, MD, senior physician consultant at HealthGrades and co-author of the study. "The good news is that there are hospitals that are doing an amazing job when it comes to patient safety and we commend them. Patients need to know that they have a substantially lower risk of experiencing a medical error and therefore
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Contact: Scott Shapiro
sshapiro@healthgrades.com
720-963-6584
HealthGrades
Source:Eurekalert

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