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Golden, CO: HealthGrades, Inc.; April 2007.
This fourth annual report on the safety of hospitalized Medicare patients builds on past efforts to evaluate hospital performance. The report uses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Patient Safety Indicators to provide benchmarks for such performance, identify current trends in safety issues, and estimate preventable events nationally. The report suggests that the patient safety incidents captured account for nearly $9 billion in excess cost during 2003-2005, and nearly 250,000 potentially preventable deaths occurred during the same time period. Grading for all states and a selected group of highly rated hospitals is included with the implication that, if all hospitals performed at a level comparable to the ones acknowledged, more than 34,000 Medicare deaths could be avoided with a cost savings of $1.74 million. As with the second and third annual reports, several methodological limitations exist, and the reports themselves did not receive external peer review.
Golden, CO: HealthGrades, Inc.; April 2009.
This analysis of patient safety in Medicare patients from 2005–2007 concludes that while modest improvements have been made, patient safety incidents still account for nearly 100,000 preventable deaths and nearly $7 billion in excess costs yearly. The report also recognizes the best performing hospitals with a "Patient Safety Excellence Award"—hospitals scoring in the top 15% according to a ranking methodology developed by the authors. As with prior HealthGrades reports, the study uses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) to measure the incidence of patient safety problems and compare hospitals. The limitations of using PSIs as a performance measure have been discussed in a prior study and AHRQ WebM&M commentary, and it is important to note that this report did not undergo external peer review.