Study: 44 Percent of Adverse Hospital Events Deemed Preventable

44 percent of adverse hospital events deemed preventable by studyA recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 44 percent of observed adverse events experienced by Medicare patients in hospitals were preventable.

The study found that preventable events were most often linked to medical error, substandard treatment and inadequate patient monitoring.

The most preventable event experienced by patients was infection, with a full 60 percent of infection incidence deemed preventable by the study.

The study had found that 13.5 percent of Medicare patients experienced adverse health events while in the hospital. If preventable events had actually been stopped by medical care providers, the study found that only 7.4 percent of patients would have experienced adverse health events. 

The study further analyzed the costs incurred by the Medicare system as a result of the adverse events experienced by Medicare beneficiary patients. Costs are estimated to total $324 million for the sample month of October 2008. Two-thirds of such costs are related to extended stays in the hospital for patients who experienced health problems.