A recurring theme on our blog is what patients, hospitals and medical personnel can do to eliminate patient deaths. It is an important topic because of how many preventable deaths occur each year. To put it into perspective (if you haven’t followed our blog before) deaths due to hospital errors are the third leading cause of death of adults in the United States according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
With tort reform becoming such a popular political topic, it is interesting how patient safety has not necessarily been politicized…until recently. According to a recent Forbes.com report, the Patient Safety Movement has been gaining such support. At a recent summit, a number of political heavyweights pledged their support, including Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton as well as former Surgeon General Richard Carmona.
Essentially, they put their names and political clout behind the notion of eliminating all preventable medical errors by 2020. Indeed, this may appear like a lofty goal given the number of errors (and deaths) that occur each year, but having such a united front now, and making it a high-profile political issue during the presidential election in 2016, may be the driving force needed to make meaningful change.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is the financial landscape for health care providers. Since there is now a business case for patient safety, perhaps these goals will be taken seriously enough for changes to be made.
For the sake of our clients and future hospital patients, we hope that it does.
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