Patient Safety Awareness Week

Patient Safety Awareness Week

Published: March 26th, 2018

March 11-17, 2018 was National Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW). This week is about raising awareness of patient safety and best practices among healthcare providers and consumers. It is an ideal time for medical practices and healthcare organizations to celebrate successes and focus on patient safety opportunities.  This week MedSafe would like to recognize all of the hardworking patient safety professionals that contribute to advancing patient safety, reducing risk, and maximizing value-based care. 

However, despite the hard work and progress that has been made in patient safety over the years, studies suggest that medical error and preventable harm remain a major source of injury and death among patients. In fact, medical error is said to be the third leading cause of death in the United States, which means there is still an enormous amount of work to be done (1).

The following are 10 statistics that we should all be aware of as we recognize Patient Safety Awareness Week:

  1. Medical errors are said the be the third leading cause of death in the US (1)
  2. Patient safety experts have estimated that medical error is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. (1)
  3. 10 percent of all U.S. deaths are due to medical error. (1)
  4. 21 percent of adults have reported having personally experienced a medical error. (2)
  5. Medical errors are an under-recognized cause of death. (1)
  6. On any given day, one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. (2)
  7. Hospital-acquired infections affect 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients in the U.S. per year.
  8. An estimated 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) occur each year in hospitals, leading to around 100,000 deaths. (4, 7)
  9. 50% of complications associated with surgical care are avoidable. (5)
  10. The economic cost of medical errors in 2008 was said to cost the US nearly $20 billion. (6)