Preventable errors in hospitals can unfortunately take lives and cost a lot of money, but methods designed by health care quality experts were used when compiling a report that indicates that there was a 17 percent decline in certain mistakes from 2010 to 2013. According to data from hospital medical records and other sources, the report concludes that around 50,000 fewer patients died because of the decline in preventable errors like drug mistakes, bed sores and infections.
The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this report means that the quality of patient care has improved while $12 billion was saved when the errors declined. Data was gathered for the report by looking at the amount of conditions patients developed that are generally avoidable and are considered hospital-acquired conditions. Some of these conditions are surgical site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and adverse drug events.
Most of the decline in errors reportedly occurred because there were fewer bed sores and adverse drug events, and the most changes happened in 2012 and 2013. While the change in rates suggest that 1.3 million fewer patients experienced preventable errors annually, the health care industry still has more improvements to make. The report found that preventable errors still occur in one in 10 hospital cases, and a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership said that this error rate is still too high.
While medical mistakes are happening less frequently, doctor errors and other problems still occur. These errors can lead to injuries or even death, and a medical malpractice attorney can provide advice on remedies that may be available.
Source: CBS News, "U.S. hospitals making fewer deadly errors, study finds", December 02, 2014