By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hospitals are getting safer, according to a new federal report, and Pennsylvania hospitals say they’re doing their part.

“The care of a patient is a very complicated process, and unfortunately errors sometimes occur,” notes Dr. Mike Consuelos, a senior vice president with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, which has been working with federal health officials for three years to improve the areas where patients are most likely to be harmed — areas such as bed sores, surgical site infections, and drug errors.

“There’s been a 37-percent reduction in  preventable hospital-acquired conditions,” Consuelos tells KYW Newsradio.

Consuelos says that means 136,000 fewer cases in which patients were harmed in the state’s hospitals, and $694 million in savings on treatment.

“Those are dollars we can spend on other things, such as immunizations and other preventive programs, to keep people more healthy,” he notes.

Nationally, the savings are estimated at $12 billion.