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New Press Ganey Findings Show Healthcare Safety Scores Fell Amid The Pandemic

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A new analysis by Press Ganey finds that safety performance declined across the entire healthcare industry in 2020. These insights indicate a reversal in harm rates that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, had shown improvement.

Press Ganey reviewed patient outcome data from its National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI®) submitted by 11,325 units from more than 1,575 U.S. hospitals. The findings showed that COVID-19’s stress on the healthcare industry contributed to a worsening of existing safety event rates such as falls, pressure ulcers and central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).

As a result, safety culture has suffered—and safety events have increased:

  • Since the onset of COVID-19, patient safety events increased in all seven types of units measured in NDNQI®: adult critical care, medical, step-down, high quality, moderate acuity, surgical and med-surg.
  • Inpatient falls increased across medical, step down, surgical and med-surg units throughout the duration of 2020.
  • Stage 2 hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) increased across all seven unit types in Q4 2020.
  • CLABSI rates increased across high quality and moderate acuity units from Q2 through Q4 2020.

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