The Washington Post is reporting that a California children’s hospital has found evidence that their electronic communication system may decrease the number of patient fatalities. The hospital introduced the system in 2007 and since has seen a 20-percent drop in the mortality rate of their patients. This equates to less than 36 fewer deaths over a year and a half. The lead doctor has stated that this is the lowest rate of decreased medical errors in a children’s hospital. A 1999 Institute of Medicine report stated that medical errors were responsible for 98,000 deaths per year in the United States. Since this study, many hospitals have introduced so-called computerized physician order entry to lower the number of preventable medical errors and protect patient safety and well-being.
These systems will allow doctors to relay the prescriptions of the patients to the pharmacists without delay. This also helps with the problem of a pharmacist’s inability to decipher doctors’ scrawl, thereby helping to reduce the likeliness of medication errors While many hospitals have been using this new system, this was the first study that was able to show an actual decrease in medical errors. The hospital is showing that the average mortality rate has dropped more than one death per 100 hospital with the introduction of the electronic medical errors. The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti support any new technologies that can help to prevent or decrease medical error. In addition to helping to reduce the occurrence of medical malpractice, the system may also help to save patients’ lives. President Obama has called for a rapid implementation of the electronic system. To read more about the electronic medical system, please click the link.