Contributing to evidence-based health policy decisions
According to a 2010 actuarial analysis, avoidable medical errors conservatively added $19.5 billion to the health care costs in the United States in 2008, including treatment of 6.3 million medical injuries, at least 1.5 million of which were associated with medical errors. Shreve J, van Den Bos J, Gray T, Halford M, Rustagi K, Ziemkiewicz E . The Economic Measurement of Medical Errors. Schaumberg, IL: Society of Actuaries; 2010.
A 2010 report on medical errors by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General, found that 1 in 7 inpatients (14.3%) on Medicare suffered an adverse event, with 1 in 4 (25%) suffering some form of harm; this includes 1.6 million adverse events annually, which contributed to approximately 180 000 deaths (11.3%) that year. Office of the Inspector General. Adverse Events in Hospitals: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services; 2010. DHHS publication OEI-06-09-00090.
A review of admissions in 10 North Carolina hospitals found that 18.1% of patients were harmed during hospital stays, with more than 63% of these injuries preventable; 2.4% of errors resulted in death, and 2.9% in permanent injury.