Ten Basic Patient Safety Checklists Could Save 85,000 Lives

According to the consumer group Public Citizen, ten basic patient safety steps could save 85,000 lives and $35 billion annually. The group analyzed the results of several studies of treatment protocols for chronically recurring, avoidable medical errors. The group also said that severe pressure ulcers cost an average of $70,000 apiece to treat. A catheter infection costs $45,000. Collectively, avoidable surgical errors cost an estimated $20 billion a year, bed sores $11 billion, and preventable adverse drug reactions $3.5 billion. The following basic patient safety reforms could contribute to cutting down avoidable medical malpractice and saving thousands of lives:

1. Use a checklist to reduce avoidable deaths and injuries resulting from surgical procedures (this would save $20 billion a year)

2. Use best practices to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (this would save 32,000 lives and $900 million a year

3. Use best practices to prevent pressure ulcers (this would save 14,071 lives and $5.5 billion a year)

4. Implement safeguards and quality control measures to reduce medication errors (this would save 4,620 lives and $2.3 billion a year)

5. Use best practices to prevent patient falls (this would save $1.5 billion a year)

6. Use a checklist to prevent catheter infections (this would save 15,680 lives and $1.3 billion a year)

7. Modestly improve nurse staffing ratios (this would save 5,000 lives and $242 million a year)

8. Permit standing orders to increase flu and pneumococcal vaccinations in the elderly (this would save 9,250 lives and $545 million a year)

9. Use beta-blockers after heart attacks (this would save 3,600 lives and $900,000 a year)

10. Increase use of advanced care planning (this would save $3.2 billion a year)

An Orlando injury lawyer can provide guidance if you have been injured because of a medical center, healthcare professional or a hospital’s negligence.



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