1. Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

Article Content

For treating eight conditions stemming from preventable errors, including pressure ulcers, injuries caused by falls, catheter-associated infections, air embolisms, adverse reactions to incompatible blood, and sponges or surgical tools left inside patients during surgery. Shifting the cost of these errors to hospitals should induce facilities to reduce errors and improve patient care, while also saving Medicare $20 million annually. Ideally, nurses will now have the ability "to quantify in dollars what their role in hospital care is with respect to the conditions not paid for, [horizontal ellipsis] about half of [which] have been linked to high-quality nursing care," says Ellen Kurtzman, a nursing quality researcher at George Washington University in Washington, DC. On the other hand, Kurtzman cautions, nurses may now be blamed for errors. Some observers worry that hospitals will refuse to treat patients who are at high risk for developing any of the conditions.