Previous research has indicated that when a medical injury, or adverse health event, occurs, its effect on the older adult is more severe and long-lasting. A recent study published in the journal Injury Prevention analyzed data of 12,500 Medicare beneficiaries (average age, 76) to determine the long-term impact of medical injury across healthcare providers and settings.
An analysis of data collected from 1998 and 2005 showed that at least one medical injury occurred in nearly one in five (19 percent) of the sample. Researchers also found that nearly 62 percent of these injuries occurred outside the hospital setting.
Researchers also note that the effects of the adverse medical events were long-lasting and associated with higher death rates and medical costs. Nearly twice as many of those who sustained a medical injury died during the study period than those who did not, according to an article in Medical News Today.
The findings are important in ongoing efforts to improve patient safety, reduce costs and improve transitions of care as a patient moves from one healthcare setting to another.