People in New York City may be unaware of how their health and that of their loved ones can be put at risk in a hospital. Surgical errors are one of the major causes of serious and even fatal health complications, which are often not reported.
A recently released study, which has previously been cited on this blog, reports that approximately 4,000 errors are committed by surgeons annually. This includes errors such as surgical equipment left inside a patient and surgeons operating on the wrong person or body part. This startling figure may lead many to ask: What can be done to prevent these medical errors?
Oftentimes, the adverse events are unaccounted for. To resolve this, the study found that third-party reviews of medical charts are very effective in uncovering adverse events. This method focused on triggers that show something went awry.
Currently, there is no mandated federal-level reporting of hospital errors, although some individual states require that hospitals report mistakes. The study recommended that there should be a nationalized system of reporting. Hospitals would use a single standard for data collection as well as the same error and procedure definitions.
In addition, requiring mandatory checklist, establishing training for safety protocols and supporting staff members who report a mistake could be instituted to cut down on dangerous medical errors.
If a surgeon fails to exercise caution during an operation, their negligence could cause patients or their loved ones to file a medical malpractice claim. Such suits could require critical analysis of medical reports and hospital records so that doctors and hospitals can be held accountable. It is a good idea for victims of medical malpractice to consult with a knowledgeable legal professional who understands the complexities of malpractice claims. Such consultations would help victims to receive comprehensive advice and fair compensation.
Source: Bloomberg, “To Reduce Medical Errors, Make Them Public,” Feb. 3, 2013