Hospital Error Rates, Related Health Costs on the Decline

Hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) experienced a 17% decline from 2010–2013 and a 9% reduction from 2012–2013, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

It is estimated that the decline led to 1.3 million fewer HACs experienced by patients from 2011–2013 relative to the number estimated if the 2010 rates had remained steady. Approximately 50,000 fewer patients died in the hospital due to the reduction in HACs and about $12 billion in healthcare costs were saved from 2010–2013. About 40% of this reduction was from adverse drug events (ADEs), 20% from pressure ulcers, and approximately 14% from catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). These HACs comprised about 34%, 27%, and 8% of the HACs at the 2010 baseline measurement.

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The report also notes that the 2013 HAC rate of 121 HACs per 1,000 discharges is still too high and that much work needs to be done to further reduce HACs and the associated health costs.

For more information visit ahrq.gov.