08192017Headline:

St. Cloud, Minnesota

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Mike Bryant
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The National Adverse Medical Events Report Cause For Great Concern

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The National Adverse Medical Reports are out and there are a number of issues of concern. Between 2005 and 2007, 913,215 total patient safety events were recorded among Medicare beneficiaries, which represents 2.3 percent of the nearly 38 million Medicare hospitalizations. This equates to one reported patient safety event every 1.7 minutes.

Other findings include:

Large Safety Gaps Identified Between Top and Bottom Performing Hospitals

  • Patients treated at top-performing hospitals had, on average, a 43% lower chance of experiencing one or more medical errors compared to the poorest-performing hospitals.

Patient safety events are common at U.S. hospitals

  • Between 2005 and 2007 there were 913,215 total patient safety events among Medicare beneficiaries.

Common Patient Safety Events are Very Costly

  • Between 2005 and 2007 these patient safety events were associated with over $6.9 billion of wasted healthcare cost.

Less Improvement Seen Among Most Common Events

  • Eight patient safety indicators showed improvement while seven indicators worsened in 2007 compared to 2005. Some of the most common and most serious indicators worsened, including decubitus ulcer (bed sores), sepsis, respiratory failure, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs), and pulmonary embolism (potentially fatal blood clots forming in the lungs).

Approximately One-in-Ten Medicare Patients with Patient Safety Events Died

  • Between 2005 and 2007 there were 97,755 actual in hospital deaths that occurred among patients who experienced one or more of the 15 patient safety events.

The numbers of deaths and injuries are startling. This review , in combination with the previous report of increase incidents in Minnesota, should cause concern for everyone. It is also troubling to think of all the past events that have gone by unreported. How many people were killed or severely injured and nothing was said? Hopefully, the increased scrutiny will lead to less overall medical events.