April 9, 2009

New Report Reveals Hospital Medical Errors Still Commonplace

According to a new report released this week by HealthGrades, Inc., an independent healthcare ranking company that compiles data from dozens of independent public and private sources, medical errors are still common despite the many new action plans being implemented by hospitals to safeguard against common, preventable medical errors. Researchers analyzed Medicare patient data from 5,000 hospitals across the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, and findings were also based upon 15 indicators of patient safety developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The analysis revealed found there were 913,245 safety events among Medicare beneficiaries resulting in wasted healthcare costs of $6.9 billion. Researchers also found 97,755 deaths that occurred among patients who experienced one or more of the 15 patient safety events.

The four medical errors with the highest incidence rates include the following:

  • Failure to rescue from surgical complications (96.2 events per 1,000 patients)
  • Bed sores/decubitus ulcers (32.0)
  • Postoperative respiratory failure (17.2)
  • Postoperative sepsis (14.9)
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