This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that recent patient safety efforts at hospitals have saved 87,000 lives and $20 billion in health care costs.
HHS also said that from 2010-2014 hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) dropped 17 percent. A HAC is a type of patient harm that happened during a hospital stay which could have been prevented. Cases of HACs include:
- Pressure ulcers (also called bedsores or pressure sores)
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
The most common way to get a UTI at the hospital deals with the use of a urinary catheter. A urinary catheter is a hollow tube used to drain fluid from the bladder into a bag outside your body. They are often needed when someone is not able to drain their bladder. You can read more about catheter-related UTIs from MedlinePlus.
HHS said the reason for the drop in HACs is not fully known, but recent patient safety measures have helped. Since 2010 new measures have been put in place that reward and punish hospitals for results linked to HACs.
Read more about the federal report released this past week.