As Elective Surgeries and Outpatient Procedures Resume, Medical Mistakes Will Return
Most elective surgeries and non-emergent outpatient visits have been put on hold since mid-March, when the Illinois Department of Public Health recommended canceling these procedures in response to preventing the potential exposure to coronavirus. As of May, many Illinois hospitals have returned to scheduling and performing elective surgeries and procedures as officials say the COVID-19 curve is bending.
Most hospitals are starting with outpatient procedures before in-patient procedures are considered and are required to follow federal and state recommendations to determine the necessity of the surgery before it’s approved. A patient will then have a choice whether to proceed with the surgery. If a hospital system decides to reopen for these procedures and expand care, they should have a plan in place that will exceed expectations of infectious disease safety and minimize any risk of medical error.
List of 20 Common Outpatient Procedures Returning To Illinois Hospitals
- Ophthalmological Services and Eye Surgeries
- Ear Surgeries
- Tendon and Muscle Repair
- Small Joint Repairs
- Urologic Procedure (pyeloplasty, cystotomy, bladder aspiration with suprapubic catheter, urogram)
- Gallbladder Removal
- Meniscus Repair
- Musculoskeletal Procedures (lumbar puncture, joint injection, splinting and casting, bone marrow biopsy)
- Hernia Repair
- Skin Surgeries and Dermatologic Procedures (acne surgery, biopsies, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery)
- Nerve Treatments
- Nose, Mouth Surgeries, and Tonsillectomy
- Respiratory Procedures (vital capacity testing, respiratory therapy, plethysmography, gas dilution, airway resistance testing, diffusing capacity testing)
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Wound Care and Repair
- GI Procedures
- Cardiovascular Procedures (central venous catheterization, arterial blood gas, cardioversion, ultrasound)
- Low Complexity Procedures (venipuncture, immunization, injection, electrocardiogram, urinalysis)
- Microscopy (prenatal tests, KOH, gram stain, wet mount)
Hospitals and health care staff should adhere to all patient rules and regulations all the time, and have a duty to safely perform procedures no matter the setting.
Nearly Half of All People Treated in Outpatient Settings Will Be Harmed
Research released in 2020 by the Foundation for the Innovation and Development of Health Safety shows that as many as 4 in 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient healthcare settings (globally), with up to 80% of those medical errors preventable.
- Computerized physician order entry systems, electronic health record systems, and bar code electronic medication administration systems have demonstrated success and cut down errors by over 50%.
- Between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths occur each year as a result of poor quality of care.
- The number of adverse drug effects is increasing.
- Surgical and perioperative events consistently rank as the top cause for the most fatalities in the U.S.
- When assessing the cost of medical errors, the burden in lost productivity amounts to somewhere between $1.4 to 1.6 trillion dollars a year.
Doctors and hospitals that commit medical errors are often unwilling to come forward voluntarily. It takes brave patients and their family members, with the help of experienced lawyers, to hold these medical practitioners accountable for malpractice.
Free Consultation: Levin & Perconti Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Chicago
If you were a patient at an Illinois health system and suspect medical negligence may have contributed to further injury or the death of a loved one, please contact Levin & Perconti toll-free at 877-374-1417 or in Chicago at 312-332-2872 for a FREE consultation.
Also read: Walgreens Knew About Pharmacy Error Risks