Because our elderly are the greatest consumers of medical care – they are also the most susceptible to medical errors and medical malpractice. One in seven Medicare beneficiaries are harmed during their care, according to a recent U.S. Senate hearing on the subject. According to the same testimony, one in four senior citizens will also be discharged from a hospital to a nursing home, only to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days – and half of those readmissions are avoidable.
During this same hearing – the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety cited a 2010 federal report that indicated preventable mistakes likely caused the deaths of as many as 950 Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut hospitals. The same report estimated that 22,000 likely got an infection while they were being treated.