One in three patients who enters a hospital suffers an unintended illness or injury due to an avoidable medical error. Hospitals are trying hard to eliminate these mistakes, as both they and payers wind up footing the bill for extra medical expenses and malpractice claims.
The latest trend in hospital mergers—combinations of large health-care systems consisting of many hospitals—might help in this regard.
There is a general sense among hospital counsel that the amount of data about medical errors these mega-systems will be able to produce will lead to the development of better clinical protocols.
By having a larger pool of data, analysts may be able to find patterns that, with less data, weren’t as clear. Large systems also are likely to have a greater pool of experts who can be called upon to design fixes to common problems.
And, of course, rolling out the recommendations to a larger group of hospitals means the fix will be applied to a greater number of patients.
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