Hospitals could mitigate incidences of adverse events by modifying work environments

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March 16, 2023

An important indicator of patient safety is the rate of adverse events (AE) among hospital patients. While there are few data on this in hospital patients, many legal cases and media stories show the consequences of unintended AEs. Researchers found the overall incidence rate of AE suggests that, of the 2.5 million annual hospital admissions in Canada, about 185 000 are associated with an AE and close to 70 000 of these are potentially preventable. The researchers believe the greatest gains in improving patient safety will come from modifying the work environment of healthcare professionals, creating better defences for averting AEs and mitigating their effects. Efforts to make patient care safer will require leadership to encourage the reporting of AEs, monitoring of the incidence of these events, the application of new technologies and improved communication and coordination among caregivers. Hospitals participating in the study were in B.C., Alta., Ont., Que. and N.S.

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