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Hospitals boost patient safety, but more work is needed

Kaiser Health News, May 8, 2014

Two major safety shortcomings in America's hospitals—the frequency with which patients get hurt during their stays and the large number who are readmitted—have decreased as government penalties and other programs targeting them kick in. The Obama administration credited the new quality initiatives created by the federal health law. But some of the improvements in patient safety preceded that law. Even with the improvements, one out of eight patients is injured during their time in the hospital. The portion of Medicare patients who were re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge decreased to 17.5 percent in 2013, down a full percentage point from 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS.