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Summary Statistics

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 99,000 Americans die annually from preventable hospital infections.

Studies conducted throughout the world have shown that the percentage of adverse events occurring in hospitals is between 3 and 17%. Most medical errors are related to system problems, not individual negligence or misconduct, and are therefore preventable. Medical errors can be reduced significantly if health care delivery systems are improved.

About 50% of adverse events can be prevented. Most medical errors are related to defects in the health care delivery system, not individual negligence or misconduct, and, therefore, have the potential to be significantly reduced through system redesign or transformation.

France, Japan and Australia rated best and the USA worst in a study of preventable death rates in 19 leading industrialized countries.