HealthGrades (NASDAQ: HGRD), a provider of objective ratings of hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies in the United States, conducted a new research to estimate the number of potentially preventable deaths between 2004 and 2006.
According to the company’s estimate, medical errors cost U.S. $8.8 billion, and result in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths.
The analysis of records of 41 million Medicare patients showed that patients treated at top-performing hospitals had a 43 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more
medical errors compared to the poorest-performing hospitals.
The overall incident rate was approximately 3% of all the data evaluated, revealing 1.1 million patient safety incidents during the three years studied.
The study also included methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify the incident rates of 16 patient safety indicators.
The following are the 16 patient-safety incidents studied:
- Accidental puncture or laceration
- Complications of anesthesia
- Death in low-mortality DRGs
- Decubitus ulcer (bed sores)
- Failure to rescue
- Foreign body left in during procedure
- Iatrogenic pneumothorax
- Selected infections due to medical care
- Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma
- Post-operative hip fracture
- Post-operative physiologic metabolic derangement
- Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
- Post-operative respiratory failure
- Post-operative sepsis
- Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence
- Transfusion reaction