Study: Errors caused 200K+ deaths from '04 to '06

The story doesn't get any prettier the more often its told. This set of data, from the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals study, makes a point often made elsewhere--that preventable deaths are far too common. In this case, it found that from 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the program $8.8 billion. The study, published by healthcare ratings organization HealthGrades, found that if a patient was treated by a top-performing hospital, they were on average 43 percent less likely to experience an error than patients at the worst-performing hospitals. The overall error rate was 3 percent for all Medicare patients, which is equivalent to about 1.1 million safety incidents during the three years studied.

For more data from the study:
- read this HealthDay News item

Related Articles:
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AHRQ: Patient safety improving, but slowly. Safety report
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