Articles Posted in Failure to Inform of Alternative Methods

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group dedicated to hospital safety, has released their biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, showing an overall improvement in Illinois hospitals since the spring. According to Leapfrog, the survey measures hospital patient safety by the number of “errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” Participation by hospitals is optional and this fall, 110 Illinois hospitals agreed to take part. According to the data collected, Leapfrog rated Illinois hospitals as #13 overall, an improvement from #15 this past spring.

In a time where the increasing problem of medical errors is finally being given the platform it deserves, the survey is more relevant now than ever. The Leapfrog Group, citing an often quoted 2016 Johns Hopkins study, notes that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patient safety and healthcare provider accountability is essential for all hospitals and healthcare organizations. Below is our analysis of the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report for participating Illinois hospitals.

Illinois & Metro Chicago Hospital Results

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a common condition during pregnancy. As a woman’s uterus expands to accommodate a growing baby, the extra pressure and weight can interfere with the ability to fully empty the bladder, causing bacteria to multiply and lead to infection. UTIs can have serious implications for a fetus, including pre-term labor. As part of routine prenatal care, obstetricians are advised to obtain a urine culture at every prenatal appointment to ensure that bacteria indicative of a UTI is not present in a pregnant mother’s urine.

Last month the CDC issued a ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” about the high number of prescriptions filled by pregnant women for sulfonamides and nitrofurantoin, two common types of drugs to treat UTIs. The report advises health care providers that treat pregnant or potentially pregnant women to use formulations of these two types of drugs with caution due to a 2009 study that indicated a relationship between birth defects and their use during the first trimester.

More Than a Third of Pregnant Women with UTI Filled Sulfonamide or Nitrofurantoin Prescription  

A new study reported by Scripps News highlights a troubling problem in the medical community: the inadequate information given by doctors to their patients.

It is well accepted that all patients have the right to understand the medical options in front of them before making a decision about the care that they would like to pursue. It is equally established that all medical professionals must receive informed consent from patients before proceeding on any course of treatment. To receive that consent, patients must be made aware of the benefits and risks associated with different procedures. Doctors must ensure that they explain this in plain language; failure to do so is a possible case of medical malpractice.

However, a new study out of the University of Michigan indicates that doctors often fail to adequately explain the cons of any course of action, while overemphasizing the possible benefits. The research used data from the past two years involving doctor explanations of a broad range of medical issues like breast cancer screenings, hypertension, high cholesterol, joint replacement, back pain, and many other ailments.

A man was awarded $1.4 million dollars from a doctor and pain management center after he had a cervical epidural steroid procedure. The jury found the doctor failed to inform the patient of “appropriate alternative medical treatments available to him.” The doctor also “failed to provide the patient with information necessary to have informed consent to the procedure.” The steroid procedure caused him debilitating and permanent injuries to his right hand and arm and his left leg.

Read more about the medical information failure here.

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