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Medical Safety Mistakes Increasing Nationwide

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

Patient safety incidents in U.S. hospitals increased by three percent overall from 2003 to 2005 according to the 4th Annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study conducted by HealthGrades. The report analyzes patient safety among Medicare patients in all U.S. hospitals.

In addition to finding an increase in patient safety incidents, the report found the gap between the best performing and poorest performing hospitals widening.

Some Highlights:

There were 1.6 Million patient safety incidents among Medicare patients from 2003 to 2005

247,662 potentially preventable deaths in U.S. hospitals from 2003 to 2005

$8.6 Billion excess costs to Medicare due to patient safety incidents from 2003 to 2005

3% increase in patient safety incidents in U.S. hospitals from 2003 to 2005
- 3% might not seem like much, but that equates to nearly 50,000 patients

25% chance of dying for Medicare beneficiaries that developed one or more patient safety incidents during hospitalization from 2003 to 2005.