HPCI News: Silently Harmed - Hospital Medical Errors in the Heartland

To: Members and Selected Others

A new report estimates that mistakes may kill or harm thousands of Iowans annually, but most cases are never reported by hospitals. The Heartland Health Research Institute released Silently Harmed – Hospital Medical Errors in the Heartland as a family of white papers. The state specific report was released in Iowa and in each of its six neighboring states estimating the number of hospitalized patients who are seriously or fatally harmed annually due to largely unreported or under-reported preventable medical errors. These estimates are extrapolated from various credible national sources. The following are averages using mid-range estimates and 2012 Iowa hospital admissions.

Some numbers:

  • 340,000 annual hospital admissions in Iowa
  • 1 in 4 patients is seriously harmed in the hospital
  • Every 4 hours one Iowa patient is fatally harmed
  • Every 6 minutes one Iowa patient is seriously harmed

Thanks largely to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, we know that care quality varies widely in different parts of the country, state and even across town. HPCI continues to work on improving patient safety through The Leapfrog Group and in others ways.

Download the report below:

Paul M. Pietzsch, MPH
HPCI - IHBA Office
4430 Ashley Park Drive
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
(515) 778-6300

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