U.S. Medical Care System Not High Quality
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) October 26, 2012 – Many hospital errors are preventable, which is shocking, as more than 90,000 people die every year as a direct result of hospital errors.
“In many jurisdictions there is a ‘sort of’ mandate for hospitals to report something referred to as ‘provider preventable conditions.’ The difficulty with that is not everything is reported, as it depends on what the hospitals have chosen to report. Many choose infections, but there are a whole host of other preventable conditions that would just as easily qualify,” says Mike Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas.
Additionally, not every hospital or other medical facility chooses to do this type of reporting, which usually relates to the fact that they first have to agree on what to report, and how to define an error that caused a patient death. While that may make sense to bureaucrats, it does not make sense to a grieving patient’s family.
Reporting these errors in various jurisdictions is fairly hit-and-miss, with the only penalty for not reporting being a loss of payment for treating Medicaid, or Medicare patients. “Put another way, it seems to not be a big deal if they do not report, which begs the question, why aren’t medical professionals paying more attention to what they are doing?” asked Smith. The last thing people expect is to die in hospital as a result of a preventable hospital error.
“Just about ten years ago, a panel of top notch scientists stated their goal was to improve hospital safety, and yet, here we are, staring medical errors in the face as a leading cause of death – 90,000 people a year. If the patient was lucky enough not to die, they typically end up staying in hospital even longer, to recover. That tacks on another $6 billion in costs,” said Smith.
And yet, no one seems to be paying attention to this, other than quoting is as a statistics, which forces one to the conclusion that the U.S. does not have a high quality health care system. “How could it be considered high quality, when it kills 90,000 every year, due to mistakes that never should have been made?” Smith asked. What is the solution? Stop making preventable mistakes. This would save hundreds of billions of dollars and keep patients safe.
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