New statistics signify possible progress in reducing the number of reported hospital errors across the country. According to a recent government report, hospitals are actually making fewer errors than before, and over a three-year period actually saving tens of thousands of lives.
According to statistics for 2013 by the Department Of Health And Human Services, the national hospital error rate dropped by approximately 9% between 2012 and 2013. The statistics were also a continuation of slow but steady progress in reducing hospital errors. The rate in 2013 was 70% lower than the error rate in 2010.
As a result of those fewer errors, the report estimates that there were 800,000 fewer incidents of patient harm in 2013, compared to if the errors had remained at 2010 level. The statistics also indicate that more than 50,000 lives have been saved as a result of the hospital errors.
The report was based on an analysis by the Centers for Medicaid Services. The agency reviewed 18,000 to 30,000 medical records for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The chart review revealed some impressive statistics.
Specifically, the number of errors analyzed included everything from hospital-acquired infections, to medication errors and pressure ulcers. Some of the sharpest declines were seen in the reduction of adverse drug events, including medication errors. These accounted for 40% of the overall drop. Approximately 20% of the reduction was attributed to lower numbers of bedsores, while 14% were traced to lower numbers of catheter-associated infections.
The report estimates that between 2011 and 2013, approximately 50,000 lives were saved because of those improvements in helping reduce errors. As a result, the country saved as much as $8 billion in healthcare costs in 2013.
A 17% reduction is nothing to scoff at, but it is also clear that this is just the beginning, and there is room for improvement in reducing medical errors. The dramatic improvements in medication errors are very encouraging. They prove that medication error rates can drop when nurses and staff in hospitals are trained to implement better storage practices, more efficient administration techniques, and accurate dispensing methods.
Medical negligence continues to injure and kill patients all across Indiana. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence by nurses, doctors, or other medical personnel, speak with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney at our firm. You could be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim to recover damages that include medical expenses and pain and suffering.