Patient Safety Efforts Pay Off

 Updated: December 7, 2015

Patient Safety

Patient safety has been a growing concern in the nation’s hospitals ever since the Institute of Medicine published “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System” in 1999. The AARC has been a big part of patient safety efforts in respiratory care, working with groups and organizations to promote safer respiratory care in facilities across the country.

Earlier this year, AARC was recognized for those efforts when a Humanitarian Award was presented to our executive director, Thomas Kallstrom, MBA, RRT, FAARC, at the third annual Patient Safety Summit convened in California.

Now a new report on hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests the increased focus being placed on patient safety is paying off. According to the report, final estimates for 2013 show a 9% decline in the rate of HACs from 2012 to 2013, and a 17% decline from 2010 to 2013.

That translated to 1.3 million fewer HACs, 50,000 fewer patient deaths, and approximately $12 billion in cost savings.

Specific figures related to ventilator-associated pneumonias show these infections dropped by 3% between 2010 and 2013, with 144 deaths avoided in 2013 and $21 million in costs saved.

While the report notes that the precise causes of the decline in patient harm are not fully understood, the authors write that “the increase in safety has occurred during a period of concerted attention by hospitals throughout the country to reduce adverse events.”

Want to become a bigger part of the patient safety conversation in respiratory care? Join the Patient Safety Roundtable on AARConnect. Our Patient Safety Checklists can help ensure your patients are safe during in-hospital transport and assist you and your colleagues in determining which patients are at risk for an ICU readmission as well.