In a new study, HealthGrades, a respected leader in measuring and reporting health care quality, estimates that preventable hospital mistakes kill 195,000 Americans each year. That’s twice the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 estimate, which many experts observed was conservative.

Fortunately, some courageous hospitals are showing their peers how to improve clinical outcomes at reasonable cost. A new report describes the key factors contributing to the success of four high-performing hospitals. In it, my friend Jack A. Meyer, Ph.D. and his colleagues at the Economic and Social Research Institute and The Severyn Group offer an outstanding blueprint for improving patient care and safety in hospitals.

The study, which was commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund, recommends 18 specific actions hospitals should take to improve patient care and save lives.