AMNews: “Protecting patients from harm is medicine’s bedrock goal, but the resources required to do so have never come cheaply. With the recession taking its toll on the health sector, doctors and other medical professionals who have tackled problems ranging from hospital-acquired infections to patient falls find their efforts increasingly scrutinized on dollars-and-cents grounds. Ninety percent of hospital CEOs have cut administrative expenses, staff and services amid the recession, according to a survey of more than 1,000 chief executives released in April by the American Hospital Assn. More than three-quarters said they cut capital spending and nearly half scaled back ongoing projects.” – Healthcare administrators don’t want to admit it, but it is clear that you can put a price on patient safety. As I mentioned in a previous post, projects that directly affect patient care are being cut secondary to a lack of funding. The only real question is how much patient safety is worth. I had projects cut that ranged in cost from $10,000 to well over $100,000. What’s the ROI on reduced adverse patient outcomes? Arguments can be made for cost savings associated with several patient safety measures, but hospital administration will argue that this cost saving is “soft money” and simply can’t be tallied in a column. While this is true, we must continue to advance technology, and with it, patient safety. It’s just going to be a little tricky, that’s all.