Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Hospitals falling short at keeping patients safe

A new report indicates that despite all the efforts into reducing medical errors and improving patient safety, we’ve made no progress.

A large study looked at patient outcomes between 2002 and 2007 at 10 North Carolina hospitals. Overall, the researchers found that frequency of incidents of patient harm didn’t improve over time.

The study will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

While the study was conducted regionally, the researchers believe the results are indicative of nationwide trends.

According to the report, about 18% of patients were harmed at least once by mistakes or errors during their medical treatment. Of those, 63% of the injuries were preventable.

While most of the problems were temporary and not serious, 42% of them did require the patient to stay in the hospital longer to deal with the injury. About 8% of the injuries were life-threatening, and 2.4% directly contributed to the patient’s death. Another 3% lived but were permanently injured.

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