A new federal initiative designed to avert millions of preventable hospital injuries and complications will be launched Wednesday at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Representatives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will join HUMC CEO Robert C. Garrett and health care executives from throughout the region to kick off the National Partnership for Patients.
Rima Cohen, counselor to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Jaime Torres, a regional director for the agency, will address consumers, industry representatives and other stakeholders on the initiative, which officials said they hope will save 60,000 lives over the next three years by reducing patient care errors.
In a statement, HHS said HUMC was chosen as a kickoff site for the Partnership for Patients “due to its reputation as a national leader in quality.” The HUMC event is one of more than a dozen taking place Wednesday at health care facilities across the country.
According to HHS, “an alarming number of patients are harmed by medical mistakes in the health care system, and far too many die prematurely as a result.”
The Partnership for Patients is a public-private partnership that, in addition to saving an estimated 60,000 lives, is projected to save up to $35 billion, including up to $10 billion for Medicare. HHS said nationwide, more than 500 hospitals have signed on to the initiative.
HHS cited a 1999 Institute of Medicine study that found as many as 98,000 Americans die every year from preventable medical errors, and an April 2011 study published in the in the journal Health Affairs found on average, one in three patients admitted into a hospital suffer a medical error or adverse event — a rate nearly 10 times greater than previously believed.
E-mail Beth Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org