News Corner: AHRQ Reports Significant Decline in Hospital-Acquired Conditions

By Ken Perez, Vice President of Healthcare Policy, Omnicell

According to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the rate of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) fell by 17 percent over a four-year period, from 145 HACs per 1,000 discharges in 2010 to 121 per 1,000 discharges in 2014.

The rate reduction translated into a total of 2.1 million fewer HACs, 87,000 fewer patient deaths, and $19.8 billion in healthcare cost savings over the four years.

Some of the biggest decreases were achieved for three of the four most frequent types of HACs:

  • Adverse drug events
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections

AHRQ attributed the reduction in HACs to a number of factors, including greater use of electronic health records by hospitals and the implementation of Medicare payment reforms that provide financial incentives for improved prevention of HACs.

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