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Decline in hospital errors

Kentucky residents might be interested to learn about a recent federal report showing that U.S. hospitals are making fewer mistakes. According to the report that was released on Dec. 2, there was a 17 percent decline in preventable hospital errors between 2010 and 2013.

The data that was analyzed in the report came from medical records and other sources. Researchers looked into conditions that patients tend to develop while hospitalized, such as bedsores and adverse drug reactions. Various kinds of infections were also analyzed, including bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and urinary tract infections associated with catheters. All of these conditions are considered avoidable and are often the result of medical malpractice.

Based on the decline in hospital injuries, the report estimated that over 1.3 million hospital-acquired conditions were prevented, and there were 50,000 fewer deaths than there would have been if 2010 numbers had have remained stable. The report found that the most significant improvements in the number of hospital injuries took place in 2012 and 2013. Despite the improvement, the report acknowledged that one in every 10 patients in the hospital still suffers from a preventable hospital-acquired injury. A spokesperson for the American Association for Physician Leadership has stated that a 10 percent error rate is far too high.

A person who has been injured by negligent acts during their hospital stay may be able to hold the liable parties accountable by filing a personal injury complaint. Many people in this situation choose to seek help from an attorney during the process of filing a claim. An attorney may be able to help the injured patient to gather hospital records and other evidence to prove the cause of their injuries.

Source: CBS News, "U.S. hospitals making fewer deadly errors, study finds", December 02, 2014

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