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Reduction in mistakes saves hospitals almost $3 billion, 8,000 lives over two-year period

Errors dropped eight percent during time period

The rate of hospital-acquired conditions, including infections, injuries from falls and harm from medication errors, fell 8 percent from 2014 to 2016, saving the industry $2.9 billion.

According to preliminary data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the avoided errors saved approximately 8,000 lives in the process.

Data released June 5, shows there were about 2.69 million hospital-acquired conditions among all inpatients 18 years and older in 2016-a decrease from the 2.92 million hospital-acquired conditions from the same group in 2014. Preliminary patient safety data for 2014 through 2016 continues to show a downward trend. This trend was previously reported in data from 2010 to 2014 where hospital-acquired conditions dropped 17 percent.

Overall, based on the reductions seen in 2015 and 2016, in comparison to 2014, the agency estimates there have been 350,000 fewer medical mistakes-leading to $2.9 billion in cost savings and preventing 8,000 inpatient deaths.

The decrease in hospital-acquired conditions is part of a nationwide effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has encouraged hospitals to improve infection control rates and mitigate any patient safety issues.

CMS set a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions by 20 percent from 2014 to 2019, which would result in 1.8 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions, $19.1 billion in cost savings and 53,000 fewer deaths.

SOURCE: Becker's Hospital Review

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