Hospitals are meant to be lifesavers, but unfortunately, there are times in which they end up taking lives. The list of patients who have died due to wrong treatments and other voluntary errors is endless. In fact, it reports say that medical mistakes are responsible for the deaths of many patients every week.
One reason for all of these potentially fatal errors is that doctors are human. But innocent mistakes alone do not cause the problems. The underlying reason is actually a loss of ethics or conscience in the medical field at large. Costly errors aren’t viewed seriously, except in the event when the doctors’ own loved ones are affected.
Last week, a Wall Street Journal article exposed the alarming statistics of patient deaths related to medical mistakes. It is estimated that at least a quarter of all patients hospitalized in the United States fall victim to some kind of medical error. Surgeons are expected to be very diligent while doing their duties, but research shows that surgeons in the US operate on the wrong part of the body at least 40 times in a week!
In situations such as these, when the victims’ loved ones want to find out the reason behind the tragedy, they require help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyers. Along with the compensation they can help patients receive, wrongful death lawyers can also help hold surgeons, doctors and the hospital accountable for their errors.
The sad fact is that the mistakes are often repeated by the medical community at the expense of the lives of innocent patients. Even celebrities at some of the best medical centers in the country fall victim to medical negligence, such as the Bee Gees singer Maurice Gibb who apparently died due to complications from surgery to repair a twisted intestine. Radical and wholehearted change initiated by the medical community alone is the practical solution to end this chain of death and uncertainty.
The monetary loss is great too – the government loses billions of
dollars each year due to unnecessary medical tests ordered by healthcare
providers. Medical errors alone would constitute the fourth major reason
for death in the United States. Doctors also overlook mistakes made by
their colleagues without highlighting them or bringing them to the public,
which encourages further errors. This is why the services of medical malpractice
attorneys are so vital.
Things can change only when hospitals are brought under the scanner of a quality assurance standard, which must be made available to the public. The ratings for each hospital must be made available online and should cover parameters such as:
• Surgical complications and costly errors
• Surgery details such as the number of surgeries performed of every kind
• Patient satisfaction scores
It is important that hospitals make their performance statistics available so that patients can make a wise choice. Patients have to be aware of the quality measures implemented by the hospital they are entrusting their lives with. Public reporting is also the best way to ensure that hospitals improve their care and performance standards.
Steps such as these would give hospitals greater accountability. There is something else that would help bring surgical procedures under the spotlight – video recordings of all procedures. Cameras must be actively used and detailed videos should be made available, which highlight every move.
These videos can be used to review procedures in case of a serious error and pinpoint the cause; they can also help surgeons improve the quality of their work. Young surgeons could learn from surgical procedures performed by senior surgeons through videos much more than from patient chart notes. Surgeons will also perform better when they know that the camera eyes are on them.
Medical malpractice lawyers from reputable firms such as Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can go a long way in ensuring healthcare standards improve and that victims of medical mistakes and their family members receive due compensation.