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Little Progress Made on Improving Patient Safety

The New York Times recently published a story that shares disappointing news about the lack of improvement in the effort to improve hospital safety.

A comprehensive 5 year study analyzing the harm caused by medical care in several hospitals found that little to no headway has been in made in recent years to lower the numbers of patients harmed by preventable errors. The research effort was one of the most vigorous medical studies of the past decade. Experts claim that the scope of the data collection mirrored that from a 1999 report which uncovered that nearly 100,000 patients die every year from medical mistakes, with another million suffering injury.

The most common hospital mistakes involve procedural complications, drug problems, and hospital-acquired infections. Many other problematic events were found, from unnecessary bleeding during procedures to vaginal cuts caused by improper use of childbirth devices. Overall, about 18% of all patients suffered at least some harm from problematic medical care-2.4% of those actually died from the errors.

Experts are not surprised by the results, because hospitals continue to avoid taking known steps to improve safety. As one involved doctor explained, “Until there is a more coordinated effort to implement those strategies proven beneficial, I think that progress in patient safety will be very slow.”

Perhaps most disappointingly, the stagnant improved in patient safety came at the same time that claims are made about steps that were being used by many facilities to tackle the problem. Those efforts appear to be failing. Our Chicago malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti have worked with victims of medical errors for decades and fully understand the scope of the problem. The fact remains that much work needs to be done before true progress is made, negligence is eliminated, and patient safety improves. Until those efforts are completed our malpractice lawyers will fight for the rights of the victims to seek redress for their losses.

Please Click Here to read more about the results of this hospital mistake study.

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