Why Patient Safety is Such a Hot Topic in the Healthcare Industry Right Now
Each day, thousands of people are hospitalized around the country for various reasons ranging from minor ailments to major surgeries that they need to have performed. However, there have been many cases where patients have suffered unnecessary injuries or even death while under the care of medical professionals in hospitals or other care centers. As a result, the topic of patient safety has become a top priority throughout the US in the past few years.
Rise in Healthcare-Associated Infection Cases
Over the past few years, the amount of instances where patients have developed a range of healthcare-related infections such as bedsores, blood infections, complications from incorrect IV insertions or even MRSA has risen substantially. In fact, statistics that were released by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) have confirmed that as many as 1 out of every 25 patients will contract some form of hospital-related infection or condition during their stays in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Successfully treating these conditions to the point where the patients in question can be safely discharged is costing the US healthcare industry as much as $10 billion each year.
According to data collected by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 1.5 million patients in US hospitals are adversely affected because of receiving incorrect medication or medication doses that have been prescribed incorrectly. In more severe cases, this has resulted in deaths occurring as well. This costs the healthcare industry as much as $3.5 billion each year and the errors have largely been attributed to communication errors being made between doctors and patients or even pharmacists and patients in some cases. It has been suggested that this situation can be easily remedied by using an electronic prescription tool instead of the traditional handwritten prescriptions.
Errors in Diagnosis
These are usually one of the most commonly cited patient safety issues and they have been known to cost as much as $1 million per successful lawsuit that ends up being filed by the patients in question as a result thereof. During the NPSF