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Report Says 195,000 Deaths Due to Hospital Error
Reuters ^ | 7-27-04

Posted on 07/27/2004 4:28:54 PM PDT by Indy Pendance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As many as 195,000 people a year could be dying in U.S. hospitals because of easily prevented errors, a company said on Tuesday in an estimate that doubles previous figures.

Lakewood, Colorado-based HealthGrades Inc. said its data covers all 50 states and is more up-to-date than a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine that said 98,000 people a year die from medical errors.

"The HealthGrades study shows that the IOM report may have underestimated the number of deaths due to medical errors, and, moreover, that there is little evidence that patient safety has improved in the last five years," said Dr. Samantha Collier, vice president of medical affairs at the company.

The company, which rates hospitals based on a variety of criteria and provides information to insurers and health plans, said its researchers looked at three years of Medicare data in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

"This Medicare population represented approximately 45 percent of all hospital admissions (excluding obstetric patients) in the U.S. from 2000 to 2002," the company said in a statement.

HealthGrades included as mistakes failure to rescue dying patients and the death of low-risk patients from infections -- neither of which the Institute of Medicine report included.

It said it found about 1.14 million "patient-safety incidents" occurred among the 37 million hospitalizations.

"Of the total 323,993 deaths among Medicare patients in those years who developed one or more patient-safety incidents, 263,864, or 81 percent, of these deaths were directly attributable to the incidents," it added.

"One in every four Medicare patients who were hospitalized from 2000 to 2002 and experienced a patient-safety incident died."

The U.S. government said it is trying to spearhead a move to get hospitals and clinics to use electronic databases and prescribing methods. The Institute of Medicine report said many deaths were due to medication prescribing errors or to errors in delivering medications.

"If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual list of leading causes of death included medical errors, it would show up as number six, ahead of diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease and renal disease," Collier said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deathtoll; healthcare
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Yes --- the patient or the family has to really keep an eye on how things are, how competent the staff seems because some are run well and others are not. Some can look good on the surface but behind the scenes are not.

If your doctor is very good and experienced and your insurance gives you a choice, the doctor usually has a pretty good idea which hospitals are better.


41 posted on 07/31/2004 7:20:46 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Indy Pendance

BIG Medicine - BAD!


42 posted on 07/31/2004 7:36:38 PM PDT by Libertina (Photoshop is our friend - just ask John Bunny-Suit Kerry ;))
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To: Indy Pendance

Some talk show caller made a great point that Kerry went on and on about research for and cures for new diseases - BUT as soon as a drug company spends all the money to develop the successful drug - the liberals start screaming that the company is price gouging the citizens. Wonder how they think research and development is paid for? Twits!


43 posted on 07/31/2004 7:39:54 PM PDT by Libertina (Photoshop is our friend - just ask John Bunny-Suit Kerry ;))
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