The consequences of preventable medical mistakes remains staggeringly stark: 98,000 patients die every year because of these errors. In our area only a tiny fraction of these victims and their families ultimately file an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit to seek recourse for the losses incurred. Therefore there remains little urgent call for massive changes at local hospitals to eliminate all of these needless mistakes.
Even when programs are put in place with the goal of limiting the mistakes, the results are often less than stellar. Late last year the Public News Service reported on the results of a troubling study that suggest major hospital initiatives to improve patient safety are ineffective. The research examined the reduction in medical errors at several hospitals before and after the implementation of various programs aimed at cutting out the mistakes. The results indicate that there was little to no reduction at all.
The study revealed that many patients are at a 1 in 5 chances of being harmed by a medical mistake every time that they enter a hospital. Some experts predict that number to be even grimmer because the researchers only focused on examination of original medical charts, instead of following cases throughout. This approach ultimately misses certain mistakes that wouldn’t be caught when looking only at the original information.
Unfortunately experts also confirm that this is a national problem. Research continues to pour in on the systematic failure of hospitals to improve the number of mistakes made. One advocate emphasizes the problem thusly: “Can you imagine any other industry being given 10 years to improve their safety record and failing to do so and not having consequences? They’ve been given all these resources and it simply isn’t working.”
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti are troubled by the continued persistence of these medical errors. Lives are lost and families are destroyed on a daily basis because of this problem. More accountability and testing need to be devoted to programs that actual work to save lives and limit Illinois medical malpractice.
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