This retrospective case record review found that incidence of preventable hospital deaths, while lower than previous estimates, is still substantial. This study reviewed estimated life expectancy upon hospital admission, identified problems in care contributing to death and assessed whether deaths were preventable. It was estimated that 5.2% of deaths had a 50% or greater chance of being preventable.
Statistical analysis showed that the main problems associated with preventable deaths are poor clinical monitoring, diagnostic errors and inadequate drug or fluid management. There might have been 11,859 fewer adult preventable deaths in hospitals in England during the period of this study; mostly occurring in elderly, frail patients with multiple comorbidities who probably had less than one year of life left. The NHS Outcomes Framework 2013 – 2014 has been re-written to reflect and address the implications of this influential research.
Hogan, H. Healey, F. [and] Neale, G. [et al] (2012). Preventable deaths due to problems in care in English acute hospitals: a retrospective case record review study. BMJ Quality and Safety, 2012, Vol.21(9), pp.737-45. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 5, January 2013].