Tag Archives: HospitalSafety

This Common Health Condition is a Major Cause of Preventable Hospital Deaths

Health complications caused by blood clots are a leading cause of preventable hospital deaths. One such complication is a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when blood clots travel to and block arteries in the lungs. Deaths caused by pulmonary embolisms in hospitals are surprisingly common. Many factors can increase the risk of a pulmonary embolism. Patients with preexisting conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity or alcoholism have an increased risk. Certain medications, like birth control, also raise to risk. However, blood clots can happen to anyone after a prolonged period of bedrest. Some deaths caused by pulmonary embolisms are preventable. Hospitals have an obligation to patients and their families to help prevent these deaths. The following policies may help: Hospitals can use electronic health records to identify patients who have the highest risk of developing blood clots. Patients can receive compression stockings that squeeze the legs and feet. They may…
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Florida Hospitals Lose Funding for Patient Safety Hazards

Seven hospitals in Northeast Florida are losing Medicare funding for having high rates of hospital-acquired infections and other patient safety hazards. Under a provision in the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are graded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on patient safety. Hospitals are assigned scores on a 10-point scale. Those in the bottom 25 percent lose reimbursements they receive for treating Medicare patients. Seven hospitals in Northeast Florida will lose 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is of course, also damage to the reputation of the hospital to consider. Patient safety, especially sanitation, must be a major priority for these institutions. Hospital-acquired infections, which include superbugs like MRSA, are responsible for almost 100,000 deaths every year. How to Check Your Local Hospital for Patient Safety Hazards Fortunately, patients can pull data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid…
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Is Your Hospital Guilty of this Common Mistake?

Patient identification mistakes are tragic and preventable. When these mistakes are made, patients have organs unnecessarily removed, are subjected to harmful treatments and given unnecessary medications. Take for example a recent case in Massachusetts, where a surgeon working as a contractor removed a kidney from the wrong patient! To be honest, these types of errors are common in hospitals throughout the country, but only most egregious examples end up becoming national news. A recent ECRI Institute study that reviewed 7,600 patient identification mistakes found 91 percent of these errors were caught before patients were harmed. This means the remaining 9 percent of patients suffer some degree of harm. The vast majority of identification mistakes occurred when doctors met with patients or during the intake process. How Can Hospitals Prevent Patient Identification Mistakes? Authors of this study claim no single strategy will prevent patient identification mistakes because these errors happen for several different…
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