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<p>Report highlights 21% decline in hospital-acquired conditions over five-year period.</p>

HHS: Efforts to Make Healthcare Safer Saves Lives

By Jonathan Springston, Assistant Editor, AHC Media

In a new report released Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says national efforts to make healthcare safer are working.

According to data compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for the period between 2010 and 2015, 125,000 fewer people died due to hospital-acquired conditions. These include common afflictions such as adverse drug events, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central line-associated bloodstream infections, pressure ulcers, and surgical site infections, among others. AHRQ focused on these particular conditions because experts note such conditions occur frequently and appear to be largely preventable.

Overall, Americans experienced 3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions, a 21% decline in these conditions over the five-year period, producing a $28 billion savings for the healthcare industry. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell credited the progress in part to the Affordable Care Act, which “gave us tools to build a better healthcare system that protects patients, improves quality, and makes the most of our healthcare dollars and those tools are generating results.”

"These achievements demonstrate the commitment across many public and private organizations and frontline clinicians to improve the quality of care received by patients across the county,” said Patrick Conway, MD, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer at CMS. “It is a testament to what can be accomplished when people commit to working toward a common goal. We will continue our efforts to improve patient safety across the nation on behalf of the patients, families, and caregivers we serve.”

AHC Media produces a variety of publications that provide a wealth of information on the safety of patients and employees alike, including Hospital Peer Review, Hospital Employee Health, Healthcare Risk Management, Case Management Advisor, Medical Ethics Advisor, and Same-Day Surgery.

Beyond those, there is an upcoming slate of webinars on subjects such as MRI safety, preventing medication errors, and general patient safety. Click here to see the full schedule.