Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hospital Errors

A World Health Organization study shows that hospitals can reduce the number of deaths from surgery by more than 40% simply by using a checklist according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The 19-point checklist has nothing to do with high-tech but focuses on human error and basic medical procedures.

The study shows that hospitals using the checklist reduced their rate of death after surgery from 1.5% to 0.8% and reduced the number of complications following surgery from 11% to 7%.

It usually takes 17 years for a medical advance to become standard practice but the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is pushing for faster adoption. According to vice president Joe McCannon "Patients deserve it, and they deserve it now."

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