Monthly Reviews

Month in "Focus": April Review

April was a month marked by several startling statistics, including concerns over potentially flawed CDC numbers, and more movement on the mainstream trend of commercial insurers no longer paying for preventable medical errors (PMEs).   

And, once again, April was a month that delivered too many statistics that are nowhere near where they should be. As those numbers represent lives hurt and lives lost--all due to medical errors that remain preventable.

Here's a wrap-up of what we've been covering over the past month:

Quaid continues to use the spotlight for safety. With the near-death experience of his twin babies last November due to preventable medication errors, Dennis Quaid continues to leverage his celebrity to push for better patient safety practices. At the annual meeting of the Association of Healthcare Journalists Quaid professes, “I’d never allow a friend or a family member ever to be in a hospital alone." More on that here.

No age is safe from errors, even our nation's newborns. Speaking of Quaid's baby trauma, the problem is far worse than we thought--a new study finds 11 per cent of hospitalized children in the U.S. were given wrong drugs or accidental overdoes. Researchers also noted that 22 per cent of these medical errors were preventable. More information here.

Deaths and costs continue to rise. In their fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study, Health Grades Inc., cites that errors in treatment resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of Medicare patients in the US, costing $8.8 billion. Learn more at this link.

Medicare and Medicaid go no-pay as costs spiral out of control. An interesting article from April 14th cites the growing costs of preventable medical errors and the aggressive steps that public (Medicare and Medicaid) and private insurers are taking to decrease hospital reimbursements as an incentive for increasing safety. More on that right here.

Continue reading "Month in "Focus": April Review" »

Month in "Focus": March Review

March was a busy month that brought us the official launch of PatientSafetyFocus.com, our support for the first Patient Safety Awareness Week, key findings across several states, and some excellent recommendations for the industry.

And, once again, March was a month that delivered too many statistics that are nowhere near where they should be--as those numbers represent lives hurt and lives lost, all due to preventable medical errors.

Here's a wrap-up of what we've been covering over the past month:

Medicare's plan under fire before it begins: Interesting feedback in the Ann Arbor News article titled "Medicare Plan May Backfire in its results, Penalizing of hospitals is overly punitive". According to the piece: "Come October, Medicare will stop paying hospitals for certain medical mistakes." If you recall, they're not the only ones, as major insurers have just started saying no-pay to "never events" (events that never should have happened in the first place). More here.

AARP releases stifling statistics: Key findings from AARP's (American Association of Retired Persons) New Jersey chapter's recent "Does it Make You Sick?" survey shine even more light on the striking issue of preventable medical errors. According to The Record: More than a third of New Jersey residents surveyed say they or a family member have been a victim of a medical error. Read on here.

HRH works to improve trust: In efforts to not only increase patient safety but to maintain trust, Hendricks Regional Health (HRH) in Avon, Indiana formed a Patient Safety Committee in 2006 consisting of 25 members from all levels and buildings of the medical group. Learn about the interesting initiative here.

Celebrity as influencer for patient safety: An unlikely, but altogether welcome Patient Safety Advocate, Dennis Quaid's newborn twin babies were given almost fatal overdoses of an injectable anticoagulant in LA's Cedars-Sinai hospital--the babies were given nearly 1,000 times the normal 10-unit does of the drug Heparin.

While the twins have fortunately recovered, California regulators have fined the hospital $25,000 for giving overdoses of the blood-thinning drug to three children (two of which were Quaid's twins).The result is two-fold: first, it brings attention to the startling statistics now standing at "1 error per patient per day" which adds up to 100,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. But, second, it has brought an unlikely patient safety advocate to the fore in Dennis Quaid (view video here).

Continue reading "Month in "Focus": March Review" »

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