Fewer medical mistakes saved hospitals $2.9B from 2014 to 2016

The rate of hospital-acquired conditions, including infections, injuries from falls and harm from medication errors, fell 8 percent from 2014 to 2016, saving the industry $2.9 billion and preventing about 8,000 deaths, according to preliminary data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The data, released June 5, shows there were about 2.69 million hospital-acquired conditions among all inpatients 18 years and older in 2016, down from 2.92 million hospital-acquired conditions from the same group in 2014. The preliminary patient safety data for 2014 through 2016 continues to show a downward trend. This trend was previously reported in data from 2010 to 2014 where hospital-acquired conditions dropped 17 percent.

Overall, based on the hospital-acquired condition reductions seen in 2015 and 2016, in comparison to 2014, the agency estimates there have been 350,000 fewer medical mistakes — leading to $2.9 billion in cost savings and preventing 8,000 inpatient deaths.

The decrease in hospital-acquired conditions is part of a nationwide effort by CMS, which has encouraged hospitals to improve infection control rates and mitigate any patient safety issues.

CMS set a goal of reducing hospital-acquired conditions by 20 percent from 2014 to 2019, which would result in 1.8 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions, $19.1 billion in cost savings and 53,000 fewer deaths.

Read the full preliminary report here.

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