ABOUT PATIENT SAFETY
Health care should by default help people feel better and improve their health status, but in practice that is not always the case. Many errors and mistakes are made that harm patients. Some errors are human, but systems within hospitals, doctors’ offices, and elsewhere can be designed to greatly reduce the risk of error.
- As many as 98,000 people die annually from preventable medical errors—more than from motor-vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS
- Medical errors in the United States cost about $19.5 billion in 2008.
- Medication errors—when hospitalized patients receive potentially inappropriate prescription medications—cost roughly $2 billion annually.
More from Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q)
Latest: Patient Safety
Goal was to reduce errors and ensure patients receive the correct diet ordered by physicians. Satisfaction improved among nursing associates and dietary associates. Communication between the various hospital departments also improved.
Staff at Seton Family of Hospitals in Texas developed a risk assessment protocol, identifying populations at risk and using prevention tools such as alerts and patient-care rounding, which has enabled the staff to consistently meet its goal of just two falls per 1,000 patient days.
To improve the frequency and consistency of turning patients, a visual indicator was developed that could easily and immediately be seen by all front-line staff.
Staff combined information from three existing order sets into a single, comprehensive cardiology admission order set to reduce provider confusion and help the hospital reach regular compliance rates of 90 to 100% for evidence-based cardiac measures.
Staff implemented a process through which all heart failure
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