Hospitals improving on patient safety

A new report is showing that hospitals around the nation are becoming a little safer. That means events such as falls, medication mistakes and infections are decreasing.

Health and Human Services finds that those types hazards have gone down by 9% from 2010 to 2012.

In our area, Mercy Medical Center North Iowa is also seeing safety improvements.

Hospital staff say the key is to be proactive when it comes to patient safety.

“Preferably our goal is to identify those issues prior to something happening. And then trying to resolve whatever could possibly cause that potential problem. If an issue actually occurs, then also we drill down into what happened, what caused that, and what we could do differently,” says Angela Westphal, BSN, RN, the Director of Quality, Patient Safety.

Mercy has seen an average improvement in safety of about 40% since 2010.

While the 9% improvement nationally may seem low, it translates to preventing nearly 15,000 deaths and saving about $4 billion in costs.

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