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

when compared with the poorest-performing hospitals. If all hospitals performed at the level of the Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety, the study found:
· Approximately 206,286 patient-safety incidents and 34,393 Medicare deaths could have been avoided; and
· $1.74 billion could have been saved.

To be ranked in overall patient-safety performance, hospitals had to be rated in at least 19 of the 28 procedures and diagnoses rated by HealthGrades and have a current overall HealthGrades star rating of at least 2.5 out of 5.0. The final ranking set included 752 teaching hospitals and 857 non-teaching hospitals. The top 15 percent, or 242 hospitals, were identified as Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety, and represent less than five percent of all U.S. hospitals examined in the study.

The study says, "Despite the flurry of research, publications and process improvement activity that has occurred since the IOM report there is a growing consensus that not much progress has been made leading to a visible national impact. Our findings support this consensus. However, our findings also support that progress continues to be made at the top. Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety continue to lead the nation in providing safer care…resulting in much lower costs to society. We believe that Distinguished Hospitals have deliberately chosen and maintained patient safety as a top priority."
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