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Medical community works to trim hospital errors

NorthJersey.com, April 28, 2011

National health officials and local hospital executives on Wednesday unrolled an Obama administration initiative to save as many as 60,000 lives by reducing medical errors and patient complications after they leave a hospital. The event at Hackensack University Medical Center was one of 11 nationwide to highlight the national Partnership for Patients, which enlists the support of hospitals, employers, health plans, doctors, nurses and patient advocates to "make the best care normal care for all patients," said Rima Cohen, counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "The ultimate goal is to eliminate preventable errors," Cohen said. "To get started, we're setting two ambitious goals for the next three years: Reducing preventable injuries in hospitals by 40% and cutting preventable hospital readmissions by 20 percent." Those initiatives could save as much as $35 billion, including $10 billion for Medicare, she said, as well as save lives and reduce problems for patients.