❝The rate of hospital-acquired conditions has dropped by 17% over a 4-year period…The rate of HACs dropped from 145 per 1,000 discharges in 2010 to 121 per 1,000 discharges in 2014, according to the report, which was issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Over a 4-year period starting in 2011, “a cumulative total of 2.1 million fewer HACs were experienced by hospital patients … relative to the number of HACs that would have occurred if rates had remained steady at the 2010 level,” the report noted. “Approximately 87,000 fewer patients died in the hospital as a result of the reduction in HACs, and approximately $19.8 billion in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2014.”
❝“These results represent real people who did not die or suffer infections or harm in the hospital,” said Patrick Conway, MD, chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a conference call with reporters. “The data continue to show … that we are on our way to achieving the results in improving the quality of care in the hospital setting while investing our health dollars more wisely…”
❝Several factors account for the decreases, AHRQ director Richard Kronick said, “for example, the widespread implementation and improved use of electronic health records at hospitals, the Partnership for Patients effort was launched … and Medicare payment reforms were implemented.”
“Progress was also made possible by investments made…in … producing evidence about how to make care safer, investing in tools and training to catalyze improvement, and investing in data and measures to be able to track change,” he said…
❝…Overall, the officials were pleased with the results. “As a practicing physician in the hospital setting, this work in improving patient safety is one of, if not the most important, thing we could do for patients,” said Conway. “Patients want to avoid infections and adverse harm events, and we need to have health system that’s as safe as possible for all patients.”
Kronick agreed. “Having been involved in this business for much longer than I care to remember … To see the progress here — 87,000 fewer people dying over the last 4 years than would have died if the 2010 rates remained in place — is very heartwarming for me.”