Clinical tip: Completely preventable problems cost an average-sized hospital millions per year

By Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant)

That’s the bottom line of a report from the Healthcare Management Council (HMC). HMC analyzed federal data to identify the most common hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) as well as their annual cost per patient and the annual average cost to hospitals.

The results are startling. According to the report, HACs cost a 200-bed hospital roughly $2 million extra annually. Here are the results, broken down by most common type of complication:

  1. Decubitus ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores, cost a mid-size facility roughly $536,000 per year, and $9,200 per patient.
  2. Post-operative pulmonary embolisms (PE) and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) cost hospitals $564,000 annually, at $15,500 per patient.
  3. Accidental punctures and lacerations cost $248,100 per hospital — $8,300 per patient.
  4. Post-operative respiratory failure cost $261,000 per hospital — $21,900 per patient.
  5. Hospital-acquired infections cost an average hospital $252,000 — $24,500 per patient.

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety has brought together a panel of healthcare experts to develop safety recommendations to prevent PE and DVT in maternal patients and help reduce maternal morbidity that has doubled since 1987.

What have you and your healthcare facility done to address preventable costs?

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