Feds Report Gains in Patient Safety

December 16, 2015

Fewer patients are dying from conditions acquired while staying in the nation’s hospitals, according to a new federal report.

Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show that an estimated 87,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2014.

ds-hospitalbedsPreliminary estimates show that, in total, hospital patients experienced 2.1 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2014, a 17 percent decline over that period.

This report aligns with earlier reports in December 2014 that showed 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and $12 billion in health care costs wwas saved between 2010 and 2013.

“Patients in America’s hospitals are safer today as a result of this partnership with hospitals and health care providers,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “The Affordable Care Act has given us tools to build a better health care system that protects patients, improves quality, and makes the most of our health care dollars.”

Hospital-acquired conditions include adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others. HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) analyzed the incidence of a number of avoidable hospital-acquired conditions compared to 2010 rates.

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