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Hospital errors decline in recent years

North Carolina residents may be interested to learn that, according to a report that was released in early December, a review of hospital medical records by the federal government suggests that there has been a 17 percent drop in a number of different preventable errors between 2010 and 2013. The report suggests that the majority of improvements occurred from 2012 to 2013, and the size of the figure is attributed mostly to a drop in adverse drug event, bed sores and pressure ulcers.

Despite the decreases, a doctor with the American Association for Physician Leadership suggested that there were still many improvements that the health care industry could make to reduce risk, noting that approximately 10 percent of patients still suffer from the errors. He also claimed that it may be difficult to understand which safety strategies are most effective. A separate report claimed that certain measures might be able to further reduce mistakes by at least 25 percent.

However, the Secretary of Health and Human Services asserted that the decrease found in the federal report showed that progress toward safer health care systems was being made. According to the report, approximately 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals, which reportedly accounts for a savings of $12 billion.

While any improvement in safety for patients is welcome, there is still a chance that a person who is seeking treatment might suffer additional injury under the care of a hospital or doctor. When this occurs, it might be possible for the victim to pursue compensation through a lawsuit filed due to medical negligence. Discussing the incident with an attorney may be beneficial for those who believe that they have suffered damages due to a lapse in accepted medical standards.

Source: CBS News, "U.S. hospitals making fewer deadly errors, study finds", December 02, 2014

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