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Illinois hospitals strive to reduce preventable medical errors

In Illinois, preventable medical errors contribute to the injury and death of thousands of patients. In addition to the harm suffered by patients, these medical errors also end up costing hospitals millions of dollars. In an effort to improve patient safety and reduce the number of preventable medical errors, many hospitals around the state have instituted new safety policies and protocols.

A recent report by the Illinois Hospital Association showed that many hospitals around the state have been successful in reducing preventable medical errors. For the report, researchers examined the medical records and reported incidences of medical errors at more than 200 hospitals throughout the state.

In total, during 2012 there were 843 fewer reported incidences in which a patient suffered harm or injury due to a medical mistake than were reported during 2011. Categories examined for the report included medical errors related to intravenous blood line infections, patient falls, pregnancy and childbirth injuries and medication errors.

The IHA reports that the reduction in the number of patients who are adversely impacted by these medical mistakes saved state hospitals more than $18 million dollars. More notable, however, is the benefit these improved efforts have had on the lives of Illinois patients and their families.

Individuals adversely impacted by a medical error often suffer unnecessary harm and injury. In addition to the physical pain and suffering often experienced in the wake of these types of mistakes, patients and their families often incur costly medical expenses. For these reasons, many patients choose to take legal action by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: The Chicago Sune Times, “Illinois hospitals cut patients’ number of infections, falls,” Monifa Thomas, Oct. 18, 2013

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