The Biotech & Healthcare IT Blog

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Do more to prevent hospital errors

Wichita Eagle | 09/07/2004 | Do more to prevent hospital errors: "As many as 195,000 Americans may be dying needlessly in hospitals each year from preventable medical mistakes.
That's the shocking conclusion of a study released in July by HealthGrades, an independent health care research group.
Think about it: More people die from hospital errors every six months than died during the entire Vietnam War.
Besides the tragic human costs, the economic price tag is staggering: Medical errors cost the Medicare system nearly $3 billion annually in excess in-patient costs, according to the study.
The report doubles the estimate of an Institute of Medicine study five years ago that put the annual patient death toll from errors at 98,000.
Whatever the exact number, it's far too many.
Blame part of the problem on the outdated systems for patient records and drug ordering in most hospitals. Earlier this year, President Bush announced an initiative to have Americans' health records computerized in 10 years -- a good idea that could help standardize patient information across the nation and make records more accessible."


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