Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Consumer Reports Releases Hospital Safety Ratings
July 23, 2012
By Debra A. Jensen, Esquire
According to a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services as cited by Consumer Reports, over 180,000 Medicare patients die each year in a hospital due to medical harm, surgical errors, and infections, and an additional 1.4 million are seriously injured or harmed. Take note: this figure applies to only Medicare patients! The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Galfand Berger find these statistics both shocking and alarming.
Galfand Berger attorneys recently reviewed a report in the August issue of Consumer Reports on hospital safety in this country. The report was intended to show the public how safe hospitals in this country are and to allow health care consumers to review the ratings of their local facilities. Our medical malpractice attorneys encourage individuals to review the data in order to protect themselves and their loved ones when seeking any medical care or treatment in a hospital. This important information should help patients in making an informed decision of choosing a safe hospital.
Consumer Reports Hospital Safety Findings
The Consumer Reports investigation looked at various sources of current data from both independent and government agencies that included interviews of patients, doctors, administrators, and safety experts as well as reviews of medical literature, hospital inspections, and hospital investigations. Data was collected on 1,159 United States hospitals across 44 states. While this data may seem extensive, it is interesting to note that several states had no data at all. Moreover, due to the lack of reporting or consistency in reporting when patients are harmed, only a mere eighteen percent of hospitals were able to be included in the ratings. Each hospital was given a safety rating in six different categories including readmission rates, infection rates, serious complications, mortality rates, the over use of chest and abdominal computed tomography (CT) scanning, and communication about safety issues including medications and discharge.
Some of the significant findings included in the Consumer Reports were that unfortunate harmful events happen to some degree at all hospitals, and there is always room for improvement even at the best hospitals. Surprisingly, some of the bigger and more well-known institutions received safety scores that were less than stellar. Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago scored the lowest with a total of 16 out of 100 points as compared to Billings Clinic in Montana that scored the highest with a total of 72 points. Unfortunately, no Pennsylvania hospitals were ranked in the top 10 for safety, but the good news is that there was none listed in the bottom 10 either. See the Hospital Safety Ratings for your local hospitals.
Recommendations to Further Improve Safety in Our Hospitals
Physicians and other health care providers as well as hospitals need to take accountability for their actions when it comes to making medical errors that cause harm to patients. Patient complaints need to be taken seriously, investigated, and tracked so patterns can be established. Then, changes can be made to provide safer quality care. A national recording system needs to be put into place for the tracking and recording of medical errors. Many institutions have already implemented electronic health records into their practice, which can help to reduce the number of prescription errors. It is important for all facilities to switch to this modern technology in order to improve the care the patients receive at our hospitals.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Galfand Berger hope that after hospitals review the data that they are motivated to improve their status, take accountability for medical errors, and strive to reduce medical mistakes and improve patient safety in their facilities. In addition, we hope patients will protect themselves by making it a priority to research a hospital before scheduling any type of procedure or surgery.
Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Dedicated To Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice
If you believe that you or someone you love has suffered injuries as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Galfand Berger medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia to discuss the details of your situation. We will determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim against your healthcare providers. Our dedicated malpractice lawyers will protect your rights and fight to secure for you the fair compensation to which you are entitled to under the law. We have offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and handle medical malpractices throughout Pennsylvania, such as Harrisburg, Reading and Allentown, as well as South Jersey. Call Galfand Berger today at 1-800-222-8792 to schedule a free and confidential consultation or contact us online.