Overall fewer hospital patients are harmed by bedsores and injuries but more work is needed
A new report, based on The Leapfrog Group’s 2016 hospital survey results regarding two preventable hospital acquired conditions: serious pressure ulcers and injuries.
Patients who enter hospitals never expect to be accidentally harmed or sickened. Unfortunately, preventable errors and mishaps are all too common, occurring during one in six hospital admissions and killing at least 500 people a day in the U.S. The Leapfrog Group, the national nonprofit watchdog run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, tracks many of these problems and publicly reports them by hospital.
The data finds some good news: the incidence of serious pressure ulcers (often known as “bedsores”) and injuries has declined over the past four years. The bad news: only about a third of reporting hospitals in the U.S. (35 percent) met Leapfrog’s standard on preventing both.
Highlights of the report include:
• Rates of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and injuries have been steadily decreasing over the past four years. The average rate of pressure ulcers across reporting hospitals was .102 hospital-acquired pressure ulcers per 1,000 inpatient discharges in 2016 compared to .122 in 2013, a 16 percent improvement. For hospital-acquired injuries, the average was .419 injuries per 1,000 inpatient discharges amongst reporting hospitals in 2016 compared to .521 in 2013, an improvement of nearly 20 percent.
• Gains, but progress is too slow. Using Leapfrog’s certified Lives and Dollars Lost Calculator, these improvements resulted in an estimated savings of 49 lives and more than $33 million. However, if all hospitals had reduced their rates of pressure ulcers and hospital-acquired injuries to zero—as some hospitals have done–an estimated 263 lives and $175 million could have been saved.
• In Michigan, only 41% of hospitals participated in the HCA portion of the survey. Children’s hospitals do not apply to this portion of the survey.
• Of the 52 hospitals in Michigan with recorded data, 46 percent fully met standards in both categories, above the national average. A list of the twenty-four hospitals is below.
“EAM and our members express great thanks to the hospitals that continue to provide transparency and participate in The Leapfrog Group’s annual survey,” said Bret Jackson, president, EAM. “Hospital systems such as Spectrum Health, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine, MidMichigan Health, Trinity Health and the DMC continue to be our leaders in providing transparency and we encourage other hospitals to participate so we can have continuing improvements to patient safety for the residents of Michigan.”
“We are encouraged by the steady decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the last four years,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “We are also encouraged by growing hospital transparency. All the hospitals in this report volunteered this information on their performance, and that gives us great confidence. The hospitals to worry about are those that declined to report on these problems. Patients deserve to know.”
The complete Hospital-Acquired Conditions report is available online. Additional resources and tools for patients, employers and purchasers may be found here.