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New Jersey patients safer thanks for initiative for better care

New Jersey patients may enjoy hearing this news that a hospital safety initiative has resulted in a 17 percent decline in hospital-associated conditions. That means there have been 50,000 fewer deaths and a monetary savings over $12 billion between 2010 and 2013. As someone who may need medical care, what does this really break down to, and how does it affect you?

The Dec. 2 report discusses the Partnership for Patients initiative, one that has been part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This initiative allowed hospitals to improve their care methods, to reduce medical errors and to make the health care system safer for patients. How much better has the system gotten? According to the report, between 2012 and 2013, the number of adverse drug events dropped from 9.8 percent to 4.0 percent. That's a 58 percent decrease. Birth trauma injuries declined from 2.3 to 1.61 per 1,000 live births. Obstetric trauma also declined from a rate of 143 per 1,000 to only 128.4 per 1,000 (this includes injuries from medical instruments), and from 24.3 to 20.6 per 1,000 for injuries that didn't happen due to a medical instrument.

Surgical site infections were also decreased. Following a colon surgery, the number of infections decreased by 35.8 percent. Following a hysterectomy, the rate declined from 1.48 percent to 1 percent, a 29.9 percent reduction.

Although health and safety measures are getting better, that doesn't mean that there will never be malpractice or negligence. If you've been hurt, you may want to speak with someone who can help you develop your case, so you can get the compensation you need while you recover.

Source: NJ BIZ, "New Jersey patients reaping benefits of hospital safety initiative" Beth Fitzgerald, Dec. 22, 2014

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