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CDC report highlights gaps in hospital safety

The goal of steadily making progress towards greater patient safety is a critically important one. A staggering number of Americans either die or suffer significant harm as a result of medical negligence and other preventable factors on an annual basis. It is therefore an urgent goal to more successfully protect patients from preventable harm.

According to a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, progress towards this goal is being made but at a slower rate than government officials would like. The CDC report relays the optimistic news that hospitals are generally reporting that patients are suffering from fewer hospital-acquired infections than they have been in the past. However, significant gaps remain in terms of safety for hospitalized patients.

The CDC report indicates that, “More action is needed at every level of public health and health care to improve patient safety and eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients." This ultimate conclusion is supported by the fact that despite progress towards eliminating hospital-acquired infections, each day one out of every 25 patients continues to contract an infection while hospitalized. Progress is being made, but not fast enough and not with enough urgency.

In order to more successfully reach the goal of eliminating hospital-acquired infections, the CDC recommends that all hospitals implement rigorous control programs which ultimately inspire all healthcare workers to consistently evaluate how they can better aid patients in avoiding infections. Until these kinds of programs are more widespread and more strictly adhered to, progress will continue to be far too slow.

Source: The Hill, “Hospitals fall short on government's patient safety goal,” Sarah Ferris, Jan. 14, 2015

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