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USA: Predictable, preventable medical errors kill thousands yearly. Is it getting any better?

Two years ago, administrators and caregivers at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago were stunned when they flunked a basic standard for patient safety.

"It was a real jolt," said Charles Holland, the hospital's president and CEO. "We thought we were doing patient safety and we thought we were doing it well."

But the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit health care watchdog organisation, found the hospital fell short on documenting and having comprehensive approaches to hand-washing, medication safety systems and fall and infection prevention.

The wake-up call led Holland to hire a Patient Safety and Quality Officer and to use Leapfrog's criteria as a roadmap for improving patient safety.

It worked. In its latest annual review of hospital safety, released Wednesday, Leapfrog awarded the century-old charity hospital an A.

The fact that St. Bernard could turn around so quickly and so effectively without spending a fortune in the process shows that patient safety is an attainable goal, said Leah Binder, Leapfrog's president and CEO.

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Source: USA Today, 3 May 2023


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