Study shows medical errors cost billions of dollars each year

If we could cut some of this financial waste, we’d all be in a better financial situation. The National Journal (4/8, Fung) reports, “As much as 45 cents out of every dollar spent on US healthcare is related to a medical mistake, researchers reported on Thursday.” In fact, “some kind of mistake or adverse event occurs in one-third of all hospital admissions — far more than in previous estimates and in spite of 10 years of efforts to do away with these errors, one of several studies on the subject published in the journal Health Affairs found.” Notably, the “single most expensive cause of harm is infection after surgery: More than 252,000 infections in 2008 cost $3.36 billion, Jill Van Den Bos of Milliman’s Denver Health Practice and colleagues reported in Health Affairs.”
If you go into the hospital, try to choose one with a good record on infection prevention. Also make sure that your medical staff with wash their hands before they touch you — every time.

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