SDW news brief: Patient safety incidents showed little change in 2009, says HealthGrades

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 2, 2010

While the number of patient safety incidents that occurred among hospitalized Medicare patients dipped slightly below the one million mark in 2009, the number of injured did not vary greatly from the rates in previous years, according to the new annual study from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization based in Golden, CO.

Overall, the incidents created additional health costs of $8.9 billion annually. Also, 99,180 Medicare patients—a tenth of those who had experienced a patient safety incident—died as a result, according to HealthGrades' Patient Safety in American Hospitals study that examined data from nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals.

The patient safety incidents with the highest incidence rates (using the measure of event rates per 1,000 population) were:

  • Failure to rescue (92.7)
  • Decubitus ulcers or bed sores (36.1)
  • Post operative respiratory failure (17.5)
  • Post operative sepsis (16.5)

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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