Using the Global Trigger Tool, developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to measure adverse events, the authors examined more than 2,300 hospital records and found 588 instances of patient harm, many of which were the result of medication errors, procedures or infections, the authors said in the study.
The rate of harm—25 instances per 100 hospital admissions—did not change significantly during the study's five-year span from 2002 to 2007, they said. And of the instances of patient harm they detected, 50 were life-threatening and 14 patient deaths were attributable to medical errors.
“Some of the interventions that appear most promising, such as implementing care bundles to reduce hospital-acquired infections, limiting the work hours of medical staff, and computerized provider order entry have not been implemented in most hospitals,” Landrigan said in the release. “A nationwide investment is needed to make sure that these practices are widely adopted.”