Between 2014 and 2016, the nation’s efforts to reduce hospital-acquired conditions and improve patient safety thwarted about 8,000 deaths and saved $2.9 billion in health care costs, according to a press release issued by CMS.
“Today’s results show that this is a tremendous accomplishment by America’s hospitals in delivering high-quality, affordable health care,” Seema Verma, administrator of CMS, said in the release. “CMS is committed to moving the health care system to one that improves quality and fosters innovation while reducing administrative burden and lowering costs.”
Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) National Scorecard on Hospital-Acquired Conditions showed that from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 350,000 hospital-acquired conditions, such as adverse drug events, injuries from falls and surgical site infections, were prevented and the rate of these conditions declined 8%. The improvements in hospital patient safety builds upon earlier advances, such as the prevention of 2.1 million hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2014, according to CMS.
Overall harms decreased 15% between 2014 and 2016, according to CMS. Certain harms, including pressure injuries, increased during the same time period, according to CMS.
The current reductions in hospital-acquired conditions mirror earlier success, including the 17% reduction in overall hospital-acquired conditions and the prevention of 87,000 deaths and savings of $19.9 billion in costs between 2010 and 2014, according to CMS.
The updated data were based on a new population of hospital patients and did not account for recent changes in medical coding, according to CMS.
“Estimates in the new National Scorecard identify important goals for ongoing efforts to protect patients,” Gopal Khanna, MBA, director of AHRQ, said in the release. “These data not only help us track how we’re doing, but they help us set the target for where we need to go. We continue to work with HHS and others to develop tools and resources hospitals and clinicians can use to reach those goals.”
CMS hopes to further reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 20% from 2014 to 2019 through providing intensive, focused quality improvement assistance for harm reduction to a majority of the nation’s hospitals, according to the release.
AHRQ estimates that when hospital-acquired conditions decline by 20%, there would be 1.8 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions, thus preventing 53,000 deaths and saving $19.1 billion in costs between 2015 and 2019.
Verma is employed by CMS.