Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Preventable Hospital Error the Third Leading Cause of Death

The Journal of Patient Safety has a new study out showing that approximately 440,000 deaths per year can be attributed to preventable hospital error...NYT has the full analysis:
Until very recently, health care experts believed that preventable hospital error caused some 98,000 deaths a year in the United States — a figure based on 1984 data. But a new report from the Journal of Patient Safety using updated data holds such error responsible for many more deaths — probably around some 440,000 per year. That’s one-sixth of all deaths nationally, making preventable hospital error the third leading cause of death in the United States. And 10 to 20 times that many people suffer nonlethal but serious harm as a result of hospital mistakes.
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“Do you as an American have the right to know if the hospital down the street left an object in a patient?” said Binder. “That information has now been taken out of the hands of the consumer by lobbyists. We should always tilt towards transparency.”

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