The Columbia Tribune published an extended story this weekend that takes at close look at the prevalent problem of hospital acquired infections (also known as hospital associated infections). The story recounts some shocking sterilization flaws uncovered at a hospital following a Food and Drug Administration investigation. The inspectors uncovered rusty surgical knives, single-use objects being reused, and a variety of other dangerous, unsafe protocols.
The Food and Drug Administration professionals explained that “the cumulative effect of these systematic practices has the potential to affect all patients in the hospital.” Unfortunately, even after inspections reveal troubling findings, little is often done to actually improve the quality of care patients receive at this and similar facilities.
One of the main (and fixable) problems preventing improvement is that hospital regulators rarely share information with one another. As a result, systematic problems are often ignored and rarely are penalties given to hospitals which fail to abide by the standards of care to which they are required.
Many hospitals decide not to take important action to reduce the number of infections that patients acquire at their facilities because they have been deemed to have the “average” rate of infections. However, as has been frequently noted, there remains a virtual epidemic of infection problem at so many hospitals. In that way, hospitals with an infection problem pretend that they do not have one. One expert pithily exclaimed, “Average is nothing to brag about. Average isn’t good enough, especially in the area of infection control. We are aiming for zero.”
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that there is no excuse for hiding behind poor practices that put patients at risk. The problem of hospital acquired infections is so prevalent that being the “middle of the pack” with infection rates is still considered quite troubling to the normal observer. All facilities should continue to seek changes that actually lower infection rates and save patient lives.
See Our Related Blog Posts: