Although it is hard to calculate, the U.S. has a quality and safety problem in its healthcare system. How big is the quality problem?
- In 1999 the U.S. Institute of Medicine report To Err Is Human stated that up to 98,000 Americans died from preventable medical errors
- To Err Is Human also estimated that up to one million more patients experienced some type of preventable error.
- Medical errors are documented as the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that 100,000 Americans die from infections.
- An Office of the Inspector General report from 2010 stated that one-quarter of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to a hospital are victims of medical harm,
- The OIG report also approximated that 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries per month suffer a “never event” and 180,000 die from medical errors annually
We have a great opportunity to fix the quality problem and drive costs down too. Some ways we can impact quality include:
Value Based Purchasing
Initiatives to Improve Quality