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Hospital adverse event rates decline over a decade, JAMA study finds


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Adverse event rates among hospitalized patients declined significantly from 2010 through 2019 in a large study of medical records for adults admitted for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, major surgical procedures and other conditions, according to a JAMA investigation.

The study used data from the Medicare Patient Safety Monitoring System to assess outcomes for 244,542 patients in 3,156 acute care hospitals across the country. It included adverse events such as drug reactions, hospital-acquired infections, problems after a procedure and general issues such as pressure ulcers and falls.

Although the study found improving trends for adverse events, other researchers, in an editorial published simultaneously in JAMA, said the new report “is an unfortunate reminder that adverse events remain unacceptably frequent.”

Dive Insight:

Adverse events and complications are a persistent concern for hospitalized patients. Leapfrog Group, an advocacy organization for healthcare transparency, has estimated that complications in hospitals harm more than 94,000 patients each year and kill nearly 25,000.An HHS Office of Inspector General report this year concluded 25% of hospitalized Medicare patients experienced harms in October 2018 alone. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that specific adverse events such as surgical site infections […]

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