Most Americans encounter the healthcare system in their first seconds of life, as they emerge into the world at one of our birthing hospital units. For many, their last seconds are also spent as a patient in a hospital. Nationally, healthcare appears to be delivered at a 2%–4% error rate, with over 18 million adverse events occurring per year. Yet despite two decades of intensive quality improvement work at hospitals, little has changed for the better.
Drug diversion costs the healthcare industry more than $70 billion per year, according to one estimate, and some researchers say as many as 10% of all medical professionals will divert drugs from their workplace at some point in their career.
With healthcare becoming top of mind due to national policy debates and beneficiaries bearing more of their own costs, many consumers want to confidently navigate the healthcare system and to know that they are making better decisions about their health and their cost of care.
The study, published September 16, 2019 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, found that higher hospitalwide use of four classes of antibiotics thought to increase the risk of the dangerous intestinal illness C. diff was associated with greater prevalence of hospital-associated C. diff.
The Joint Commission says that about 700 women die annually from these complications, stemming mostly from obstetric hemorrhage (excessive blood loss while giving birth). The accreditor notes that rates of maternal hemorrhage are increasing in developed countries, including the United States, leading to the need for increased attention to the problem.
According to The Joint Commission, of the 2,000 healthcare providers surveyed, more than 15% of all nurses reported feelings of burnout, with ER nurses at a higher risk. A second survey in 2019 found that burnout is among the leading patient safety and quality concerns in healthcare organizations.
Healthcare providers in U.S. hospitals bear the brunt of the epidemic as they deal with the medical consequences of opioid addiction. From 1999 to 2017, Coverys says, more than 700,000 people died as a result of the opioid epidemic and the number of opioid-related overdoses grew sixfold.
A new report from Birmingham, Alabama–based point-of-care technology company IllumiCare says that having more providers involved in an individual’s treatment can significantly increase hospital length of stay.
CMS released revised Conditions of Participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals that require the development and implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs to help reduce inappropriate antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance. The rule, first proposed by CMS in 2016, also finalized requirements for nursing facilities to have a stewardship program.
Partnership between professionals and patients to maintain communication and health literacy can improve healthcare safety. However, involving and committing patients to their health requires professionals to possess broad skills.