Medical errors cost lives, money

April 8, 2008 2:08:33 PM PDT
Medical errors are costing the US billions of dollars. A new survey finds mistakes resulted in more than 238,000 preventable deaths from 2006 to 2008.

These deaths involved US Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals study.

The analysis found that patients treated at top performing hospitals were on average 43 percent less likely to experience one or more medical errors than patients at the poorest performing hospitals.

The overall medical error rate was about 3 percent for Medicare patients. That works out to about 1.1 million patient safety incidents during the three years included in the analysis.


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