A recent review found that around 6% patients in healthcare settings (internationally) experience potentially preventable harm; with approximately 1 in 8 such cases resulting in severe harm, permanent disability or death
“Six types of patient harm were identified: drug management incidents (recorded in 25% of the preventable harm cases), other therapeutic management incidents (24%), procedural incidents (23%), surgical procedure incidents (23%), healthcare infections (16%), and diagnosis incidents (16%)”.
Vincent, C. (2019). Better strategies are needed to reduce preventable patient harm in healthcare. London: NIHR Signal / NIHR Dissemination Centre, October 2nd 2019.
This relates to:
Panagioti, M., Khan, K. [and] Keers, RN. [et al] (2019). Prevalence, severity, and nature of preventable patient harm across medical care settings: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ: British Medical Journal. July 17th 2019; Vol.366: l4185.
Quality improvement work is underway throughout the NHS to reduce avoidable patient harm and the wasted resources arising from attempts to correct such harm after the event. Possibly of interest:
Huntley, C. (2019). Laying the foundations for quality improvement within an NHS trust: a chief registrar’s journey. Future Healthcare Journal. June 2019; Vol.6, Supplement 2: 66.
An International Perspective: Ten Facts About Hospital Care
- Fact 1: One in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care.
- Fact 2: The occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe care is likely one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability across the world.
- Fact 3: Four out of every 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care.
- Fact 4: At least 1 out of every 7 Canadian dollars is spent treating the effects of patient harm in hospital care.
- Fact 5: Investment in patient safety can lead to significant financial savings.
- Fact 6: Unsafe medication practices and medication errors harm millions of patients and costs billions of US dollars every year.
- Fact 7: Inaccurate or delayed diagnosis is one of the most common causes of patient harm and affects millions of patients.
- Fact 8: Hospital infections affect up to 10 out of every 100 hospitalized patients.
- Fact 9: More than 1 million patients die annually from complications due to surgery.
- Fact 10: Medical exposure to radiation is a public health and patient safety concern.
WHO (2019). 10 facts on patient safety. Geneva: World Health Organization, Updated August / September 2019.