Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Study Shows one in Seven Medicare Patients Harmed by Medical Error

Study: one in seven hospitalized Medicare patients harmed.
The New York Times (11/16, B3, Wilson) reports, "One of every seven Medicare beneficiaries who is hospitalized is harmed as a result of problems with the medical care there, according to a new study from the Office of Inspector General for" HHS, which also "said unexpected adverse events added at least $4.4 billion a year to government health costs and contributed to the deaths of about 180,000 patients a year." In response to the findings, "Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, said the adverse events were affecting hospital patients at an 'alarming rate' and promised to work to improve it." And, "Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said it would aggressively pursue recommendations to broaden the definition of adverse events, monitor and prevent them."
USA Today (11/16, Rubin) reports, "The study is the first of its kind aimed at understanding 'adverse events' in hospitals -- essentially, any medical care that causes harm to a patient, according to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General." Notably, "patients in the study, a nationally representative sample that focused on 780 Medicare patients discharged from hospitals in October 2008, suffered such problems as bed sores, infections and excessive bleeding from blood-thinning drugs, the report found."

1 comment: