10-Dec-14 10:30 AM  CST

Safety Protocols Helping to Save Thousands of Lives

Each year thousands of people die as a result of medical errors. While the news about medical errors is often discouraging, the Washington Post is reporting that there has been a decrease in deaths related to medical errors. According to the Washington Post there where 50,000 fewer deaths related to avoidable medical error in the last three years. While any death related to an avoidable medical error is cause for concern, the recent findings are proof that medical community has taken notice as to the severity of this issue.

            The news continued to be hopeful as the United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Department stated that there where 1.3 million fewer hospital acquired infection between 2011-2013. This was a 17% drop from 2008-2010. This bit of good news is positive not only for patients and healthcare providers, but taxpayers as well since HHS estimates these most recent numbers may very well add up to a savings of more than 12 billion dollars in healthcare cost alone.

            Officials did not pinpoint any one particular reason for the decrease in error incidences, but rather stated that improved safety protocol and initiatives, as well as payment incentives from the Affordable Care Act were largely accountable for the improvements. As encouraging as the news is, officials still warn that there is a great deal of work still to do in regards to patient safety issues. In 2013 hospitals caused harm to patients 3.9 million times.

            Health and safety of the patient must always be first and foremost in the field of medicine. The reduction in medical costs as well as medical errors is being touted as a positive mark for the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act, but truth of the matter is that full effective of the law still remains to be seen.





Millman, J., (2014) “Hospitals are Killing Tens of Thousands fewer People, “Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/02/hospitals-are-killing-tens-of-thousands-fewer-people/, retrieved 5.December 2014

Painter, K., (2014) “Hospital stays are getting safer new report says”, USAToday, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/02/hospital-safety-report-hhs/19771339/, retrieved, 5.December, 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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