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Major Study Finds Significant National Patient Safety Improvement

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A study published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and funded and carried out by Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that rates of in-hospital adverse events for healthcare related patient harm fell significantly in the U.S. in the decade prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers found significant decreases in in-hospital adverse event rates for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and major surgical procedures. After reviewing records of nearly 245,000 patients in more than 3,100 hospitals between 2010 to 2019, this study shows that pre-COVID hospital care was getting safer.

Researchers of this study tracked a total of 21 adverse events over the study period. Examples of the events included adverse medication events such as those associated with the use of insulin or anticoagulants, infections such as central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and post-procedure events such as those associated with hip joint or knee joint replacement surgeries or postoperative cardiac events.

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