According to a recent New York Times Article, "The nagging and largely solvable problem of hospital-acquired infections remains as resistant to cure as the germs that contribute to an estimated 100,000 deaths a year..."
These findings were based on The 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Essentially, there's been no real progress made in reducing certain hospital acquired infections, and many of them, such as post-operative sepsis, are increasing (the study noted an 8% increase).
One of the key findings of the study was that wound infection following surgery is common in hospital acquired infections, and that "hospitals can reduce the risk of surgical site infection by making sure patients get the right antibiotics at the right time on the day of their surgery."
Having surgery at a hospital soon? Ask your surgeon about the specifics of pre-operative antibiotics before surgery, i.e whether you will get them and when you will get them.
Some other numbers that caught my eye: the cost attributed to medical errors was between 17 and 29 BILLION dollars.
You can read more about this topic at The Safe Patient Project.