In today’s medically advanced world, patients often times believe that errors in hospitals are no longer possible. While this would be nice, it is anything but the truth. Our Baltimore readers may find the following information interesting.
According to new research, estimates shows that 440,000 Americans die every year from preventable hospital errors. This is an astonishing number, especially when you consider the fact that the health care system in the U.S. is supposed to be among the best in the world.
With this estimate, medical errors are the number three leading cause of death in the US. For this reason, patients must do whatever they can to ensure that they are protected from harm. Along with this, hospitals must make patient safety a top priority regardless of what it takes.
This data is a result of The Leapfrog Group Fall 2013 update, which assigns safety scores, including A, B, C, D and F, to approximately 2,500 general hospitals located throughout the country. While the report shows that hospitals continue to make progress in terms of addressing errors, injuries and accidents that kill patients, overall progress remains slow.
According to the president of Leapfrog, every year people die as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. She also noted that many hospitals have been able to improve their performance by as much as two letter grades but that these efforts are not nearly enough to ensure the safety of all patients.
Doing its part to help the hospital system in the U.S. make progress, Leapfrog recently added two components to its Hospital Safety Score: Surgical Site Infections and Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections.
This update from The Leapfrog Group should go a long way in showing you why it is so important to pay attention to all safety measures being followed by the hospital in which you or a loved one is receiving treatment. However, if a medical malpractice incident has already occurred, you may be able to seek compensation though a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Hospital Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S., and New Hospital Safety Scores Show Improvements Are Too Slow” No author given, Oct. 22, 2013