New Report Shows Continued Reduction in Hospital-Acquired Conditions

In December 2016, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a preliminary update to the National Scorecard on Rates of Hospital-Acquired Conditions showing a 21 percent reduction in hospital-acquired conditions – preventable complications during hospital visits – from the years 2010 to 2015. This update shows that nearly 125,000 fewer patients died, more than 3 million adverse events were avoided, and over $28 billion in health care costs were saved.

Many of these hospital-acquired conditions – adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonias – are priority areas in the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention and the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections. Both Action Plans highlight the importance of coordinating surveillance resources to gather more accurate and timely data, sharing tools to help with implementing evidence-based recommendations, creating incentives to drive high-quality care, and facilitating research to understand better prevention strategies. The National Scorecard update demonstrates that coordinated efforts between federal agencies and private stakeholders, like those recommended in the Action Plans, can lead to major improvements in patient safety.

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