An Illinois woman has started a website designed to improve hospital safety entitled Campaign Zero. She began the website after Medicare discontinued reimbursing hospitals for preventable hospital hazards. The website focuses on preventing medical errors by zeroing in on what can be prevented with a little bit of knowledge. It also discusses ways in which everyone can help prevent medical error.
One area that can be improved is hospital acquired infections. Campaign Zero estimates that 2.2 million people are affected with hospital-acquired infections every year. More than 135,000 Americans wrongfully die from these hospital-acquired infections, most of which are preventable. The biggest culprit in the spread of this disease is unwashed, or poorly washed, hands. There is a simple way to prevent this medical error: to have employees simply wash their hands with soap and water. The website shows a video highlighting the easy way to wash hands and save lives.
Campaign Zero also highlights ways in which to prevent surgical error. The website’s study estimates that between 1,300 and 2,700 surgical errors occur every year in America. These include events when patients are mistaken for each other. Also, surgical tools and sponges are left behind in patients. In fact, 1 out of every 1,500 abdominal surgeries results in a left tool or sponge. The average cost of these types of surgical errors runs around $40,323. The website suggests showering before surgery and marking the part of your body that is to be operated on in order to prevent these errors. This website is a valuable tool for anyone that has a loved one in the hospital.