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HHS: Hospital quality strides save 15,000 lives, $4.1 billion

May 7, 2014

Hospitals have reduced early elective deliveries by 65%, ventilator-associated pneumonia by 53%, pressure ulcers by 25%, patient falls by 15%, venous thromboembolisms by 13%, and Medicare 30-day readmissions by 8% since 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services reported today. In 2012 and 2013, 30-day readmissions declined by an estimated 150,000, HHS said. The measures are among the 10 patient safety focus areas of the national Partnership for Patients, which includes the AHA’s Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network. HRET is also engaged in other national improvement projects that are working to, among other things, reduce infections and promote best practices in care. HHS estimates the improvements announced today prevented 560,000 hospital-acquired conditions and saved 15,000 lives and $4.1 billion. “We applaud the nationwide network of hospital systems and providers that are working together to save lives and reduce costs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We are seeing a simultaneous reduction in hospital readmissions and injuries, giving patients confidence that they are receiving the best possible care and lowering their risk of having to be readmitted to the hospital after they get the care they need.”