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Patient Safety Trends

HealthLeaders magazine, February 12, 2008
The healthcare industry's emphasis on improving patient safety has exploded in recent years. From the steady rise of hospital-acquired infections to infants receiving blood thinner overdoses at two major hospitals, a variety of trends and events have thrust the issue into the public spotlight. Despite advances in patient safety processes and the proliferation of safety literature touting the importance of everything from public reporting to hand hygiene, however, some recent studies suggest that safety gains are spotty and quality remains inconsistent. With safety issues not only endangering patients but also threatening providers' bottom lines through longer lengths of stay and higher costs, senior leaders have plenty of motivation to keep patient safety at the top of their priority lists.