HHS Details Successes of Patient Safety Efforts


A report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows hospital-acquired conditions dropped 21 percent with 3 million fewer adverse events over a five-year period. According the report, approximately 125,000 fewer patients died due to hospital-acquired conditions and more than $28 billion in healthcare costs were saved from 2010 through 2015. Hospital-acquired conditions are those a patient develops while in the hospital being treated for something else. The data was compiled and analyzed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). These successes are the result of a nationwide effort to improve patient safety which includes programs stemming from the Affordable Care Act.

HHS selected specific conditions as focus areas because they occur frequently and appear to be largely preventable, based on existing evidence. Hospital-acquired conditions selected include adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others.