Hospital finances and patient safety outcomes.
This AHRQ–funded study examined the relationship between hospital profit margins and the rate of patient safety events. Using data from 176 acute care hospitals in Florida, investigators categorized hospitals into four tiers based on their reported profit margins and compared event rates from more than one million surgical hospitalizations. Findings illustrated an inverse relationship, with the highest event rate occurring in hospitals with the lowest margins. The authors suggest that growing financial constraints may limit a hospital’s investment in patient safety, leading to greater numbers of adverse events.