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

a lower risk of death or complications when they are admitted to one of these exceptional top-performing hospitals."

Study highlights:

Large Safety Gaps Identified Between Top and Bottom Performing Hospitals

  • Patients treated at top-performing hospitals had, on average, a 43% lower chance of experiencing one or more medical errors compared to the poorest-performing hospitals.

Patient safety events are common at U.S. hospitals

  • Between 2005 and 2007 there were 913,215 total patient safety events among Medicare beneficiaries.

Common Patient Safety Events are Very Costly

  • Between 2005 and 2007 these patient safety events were associated with over $6.9 billion of wasted healthcare cost.

Less Improvement Seen Among Most Common Events

  • Eight patient safety indicators showed improvement while seven indicators worsened in 2007 compared to 2005. Some of the most common and most serious indicators worsened, including decubitus ulcer (bed sores), sepsis, respiratory failure, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs), and pulmonary embolism (potentially fatal blood clots forming in the lungs).

Approximately One-in-Ten Medicare Patients with Patient Safety Events Died

  • Between 2005 and 2007 there were 97,755 actual inhospital deaths that occurred among patients who experienced one or more of the 15 patient safety events.

HealthGrades' individual hospital ratings can be viewed for free at HealthGrades.com.

Methodology

The sixth 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 15 patient safety indicators among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation's nearly 5,000
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Contact: Scott Shapiro
sshapiro@healthgrades.com
720-963-6584
HealthGrades
Source:Eurekalert

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