and Medicine for Seniors
Improving patient safety saves
50,000 lives, 1.3 million from harm, $12 billion in cost
Hospital-acquired conditions decline
by 17 percent over a three-year period
3, 2014 - A
released by the Department of Health and Human Services yesterday shows
an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately
$12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of a reduction
in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. This progress toward
a safer health care system occurred during a period of concerted
attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events.
The efforts were due in part to
provisions of the Affordable Care Act such as Medicare payment
incentives to improve the quality of care and the HHS Partnership for
Patients initiative. Preliminary estimates show that in total, hospital
patients experienced 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions from
2010 to 2013. This translates to a 17 percent decline in
hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period.
“Today’s results are welcome news
for patients and their families,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.
“These data represent significant progress in improving the quality of
care that patients receive while spending our health care dollars more
wisely. HHS will work with partners across the country to continue to
build on this progress.”
Today’s data represent demonstrable
progress over a three-year period to improve patient safety in the
hospital setting, with the most significant gains occurring in 2012 and
2013. According to preliminary estimates, in 2013 alone, almost 35,000
fewer patients died in hospitals, and approximately 800,000 fewer
incidents of harm occurred, saving approximately $8 billion.
include adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract
infections, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure
ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others.
HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality (AHRQ) analyzed the incidence of a number of avoidable
hospital-acquired conditions compared to 2010 rates and used as a
baseline estimate of deaths and excess health care costs that were
developed when the Partnership for Patients was launched. The results
update the data showing improvement for 2012 that were
released in May.
“Never before have we been able to
bring so many hospitals, clinicians and experts together to share in a
common goal – improving patient care,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president
and CEO of the American Hospital Association.
“We have built an ‘infrastructure
of improvement’ that will aid hospitals and the health care field for
years to come and has spurred the results you see today. We applaud HHS
for having the vision to support these efforts and look forward to our
continued partnership to keep patients safe and healthy.”
To drive progress on the way care
is provided, HHS is says it is focused on improving the coordination and
integration of health care, engaging patients more deeply in
decision-making and improving the health of patients – with a priority
on prevention and wellness.
These major strides in patient
safety are a result of strong, diverse public-private partnerships and
active engagement by patients and families, according to HHS. These
efforts include the federal Partnership for Patients initiative and
Hospital Engagement Networks, Quality Improvement Organizations, and
many other public and private partners.
In 2011, HHS set a goal of
improving patient safety through the Partnership for Patients, which
targets a specific set of hospital-acquired conditions for reductions.
Public and private partners are working collaboratively – including
hospitals and other health care providers – to identify and spread best
practices and solutions to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and
Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS deputy
administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer said,
“As a practicing physician in the hospital setting, I know how important
it is to keep patients as safe as possible. These collaborative efforts
are rapidly moving health care safety in the right direction.”
“AHRQ has developed the evidence
base and many of the tools that hospitals have used to achieve this
dramatic decline in patient harms,” said AHRQ director Richard Kronick,
Ph.D. “Additionally, AHRQ’s work in measuring adverse events, performed
as part of the Partnership for Patients, made it possible to track the
rate of change in these harms nationwide and chart the progress being
AHRQ has produced a variety of
tools and resources
to help hospitals and other providers prevent hospital-acquired
conditions, such as reducing infections, pressure ulcers, and falls. The
tools and resources include the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program,
the Re-Engineered Discharge Toolkit, TeamSTEPPS, and more.
HHS will continue working with
partners to capitalize on these promising results and continue on the
path of improving patient safety and reducing health care costs while
providing the best, safest possible care to patients.
Interim Update on
2013 Annual Hospital-Acquired Condition Rate and Estimates of Cost
Savings and Deaths Averted from 2010 to 2013
May 2014 patient
safety results report
Patients Preliminary Evaluation Report