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Hospital Errors Rise 3 Percent -- HealthGrades Patient-safety Study

the nation's best-performing hospitals are providing benchmarks for the hospital industry, exercising a vigilance that resulted in far fewer inhospital incidents among the Medicare patients studied." The fourth 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 13 patient safety incidents among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation's nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals. Additionally, HealthGrades applied its methodology 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 incidents studied:
· Accidental puncture or laceration
· Complications of anesthesia
· Death in low-mortality DRGs
· Decubitus ulcer
· Failure to rescue
· Foreign body left in during procedure
· Iatrogenic pneumothorax
· Selected infections due to medical care
· Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma
· Post-operative hip fracture
· Post-operative physiologic metabolic derangement
· Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
· Post-operative respiratory failure
· Post-operative sepsis
· Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence
· Transfusion reaction

Distinguished Hospital Awards and Findings
Of the nearly 5,000 hospitals studied, the HealthGrades study identified 242 hospitals – those in the top five percent of all hospitals -- to serve as a benchmark against which other hospitals can be evaluated, naming them Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety.

On average, these hospitals had a 40 percent lower rate of patient-safety incidents
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