Accreditation

Report: Six opportunities to improve patient safety

Accreditation Insider, February 27, 2018

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Over the next four years, $383.7 billion will be spent on adverse patient safety events in the United States and Western Europe. These events will have cumulatively affected 91.8 million patient admissions and caused 1.95 million deaths. Researchers at Frost & Sullivan analyzed 30 major patient safety concerns to find the areas where a change could make the most impact.

"Up to 17 percent of all hospitalizations are affected by one or more adverse events and around 15% of hospital expenditure is attributable to addressing them. The fact that 30 to 70 percent of these are potentially avoidable makes it imperative to prevent them from happening," said Anuj Agarwal, Transformational Healthcare Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan in a press release.

Researchers boiled their list down to six areas that have the biggest opportunities for improvement:

  1. Medication safety: Ensuring patients get the right medicine at the right time and dosage is an ongoing challenge for providers. Even with new medication management approaches that have sprouted up, researchers say, there’s plenty of room for hospitals to step up on unifying health IT integration and value.
  2. Sepsis: Sepsis is the underlying cause in nearly 50,000 deaths each year, and one of multiple causes in more than 182,000 deaths each year. The condition is hard to diagnose and needs to be caught early.
  3.   Antibiotic resistance: Drug-resistant diseases have been a big worry in recent years. And 60% of U.S. hospitals don't have an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP) that meets all seven components of the CDC’s stewardship guidelines. With research on new antibiotics still slow to develop, hospital need to improve their diagnostic capabilities, antibiotic stewardship, and infection-control strategies.
  4. Cybersecurity: Healthcare organizations are prime targets for computer viruses and hacking since they’re relatively easy targets with the resources to pay off hackers. Providers need to work fast to adopt new technologies such as blockchain to protect patients' privacy.
  5.  Diagnostic safety: Researchers wrote that providers are reexamining diagnostic approaches to reduce errors. They also expect calls for improved diagnostics to drive interest in new lab management systems.
  6. Unnecessary ED admissions: People using the emergency room as their primary physician has placed a major burden on EDs. The study recommends investing more into remote monitoring and telehealth to fight this problem.



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