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The Hazards of Hospitals [Infographic]

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From Tony Shin

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘hospital’? Perhaps doctors, medicine, health? What about ‘hazardous’? Initially, the thought of hazards in hospitals almost don’t make any sense.

Well, the Medical Billing and Coding team have taken it upon themselves to let you know otherwise with this eye opening infographic. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes. All the duties and responsibilities of a hospital employee are pretty standard, with one thing in mind: “Health.” Could it be that sometimes they overlook such simple rules? Maybe. This infographic highlights the results of some of those mistakes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On September 1, 2011, Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum pointed out a statistical error in our infographic titled ‘The Hazards of Hospitals.” While we reported that the likelihood of dying from a hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infection in the United States was 1 in 7, Drum correctly noted that this number was incorrect. In fact, the number we intended to display was 1 in 17 (using the CDC’s numbers, and dividing 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections by 99,000 deaths, you get 17.17). Our designer misread this statistic and labelled it incorrectly. We have uploaded a revised version of the infographic that reflects this change, and we apologize for the mistake.

Drum also called out another statistic as being false, but in this case it is not a mistake on our part but a difference of in source data. Drum cites an estimate by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that there are 146,000 deaths per 4.5 million HAIs in Europe. We, however, used a number from the World Health Organization (as cited in this Reuters article:, which puts the number of deaths at 37,000 – leading to our calculation of 1 in 122 deaths from HAIs. So we stand by this second number, although clearly there is some dispute as to the true extent of HAI-related death in Europe.

-Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving anyone falsified information! I stand true to these graphics, so whenever there’s a mistake made, I’ll abide by that. =)
The Hazards of Hospitals
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding

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