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1 in 3 Hospitalized Patients Suffers an Adverse Event

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2011

We want to know that providers have shifted to more careful culture, especially prompted by the threat of federal penalties and value-based incentives set forth in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But we also want to know that they are looking as hard as they can to see these errors where they are. Only then can they be quantified, taken more seriously and prevented.

Lest we get too complacent, we have to realize that avoidable mistakes that cause patient harm are still being made. The current issue of Health Affairs points that out in graphic detail.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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2 comments on "1 in 3 Hospitalized Patients Suffers an Adverse Event"


Martine Ehrenclou (4/8/2011 at 3:48 PM)
It is a sad state of affairs but there is much a patient can do to help prevent medical errors. First, enlist the help of a loved one to act as your advocate to help oversee and monitor your hospital medical care. Each time you have a new medical encounter, repeat your full name and date of birth. Ask the medical professional to check. I wrote a book about how to survive a hospital stay and it's full of strategies. If we work in collaboration with the hospital medical staff, we have a better chance of eliminating more medical errors. This is a team effort. My book is Critical Conditions: The Essential Hospital Guide To Get Your Loved One Out Alive.

Barry Bodie (4/7/2011 at 1:38 PM)
After doing this for nearly thirty years, I am amazed that no matter how careful you are, how much you try to prevent adverse consequences or how diligently you watch things, people are still going to have problems because of worn out immune systems, aging and the ravages of untreated and often ignored disease. Are we going to punish doctors for pulmonary embolism in an obese, smoking diabetic, lung cancer patient requiring ventilatory support because of a community acquired pneumonia. Why are we listing wound infections in patients operated on for diverticular abscesses or gangrenous gallbladders? All this is not in the interest of treating patients as they come to use, but in the interest of saving money at the expense of good medical care.