HHS: 87k lives and $20B saved through patient safety efforts

A report released by HHS on Tuesday shows a reduction in hospital acquired conditions has saved thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs.

Preliminary estimates reveal a 17 percent decline in HAC rates from 2010 to 2014, or 2.1 million fewer recorded HAC cases. HHS reported 87,000 fewer patient deaths in hospitals and nearly $20 billion in care cost savings as a result of HAC decrease over this period.

The announcement builds upon an HHS report from last December, which indicated 50,000 fewer patient deaths in hospitals and $12 billion savings in care costs between 2010 and 2013.

Hospital acquired conditions include adverse drug events, catheter associated urinary tract defects, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers and surgical site infections, among others.

Public-private partnerships have made great strides toward improving patient safety and patient education, including the federal Partnership for Patients initiative, hospital engagement networks and quality improvement organizations.

"Hospitals work diligently every day to provide the best possible care for the patients they serve," said president and CEO of the American Hospital Association Rick Pollack. "These new numbers are impressive and show the great progress hospitals continue to make."

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