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Firms Will Shop to Reduce Medical Errors

November 16, 2000|Bloomberg News

General Electric, Ford Motor Co. and other major U.S. employers who spend $40 billion a year on health care for workers said they'll shop for hospitals that are trying to reduce medical errors. The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives, said it seeks computerized ordering of drugs so patients get the right medications. The group also wants seriously-ill patients directed to hospitals offering the best survival odds, as gauged by clinical studies. This could save up to 58,000 lives a year if adopted nationwide, the CEOs said. Last year, an Institute of Medicine study found that as many as 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors in hospitals. The hospital industry, divided over how to reduce errors, says it's difficult to rate hospitals on patient care because interpretations of data can be subjective.

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