A recently disclosed study found that hospitals and regulators fail to
record at least 90 percent of patient injuries, infections and other safety issues.
A total of 354 cases which involved adverse effects such as blood infections,
medication errors, and pressure sores were uncovered at three separate
U.S. teaching hospitals. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality designed a system which was able to identify 35 cases at these
hospitals, while the facilities’ own voluntary reporting programs
were able to find four, according to a study in the
Health Affairs journal.
This incomplete picture of the frequency with which patients are harmed
will ultimately undermine both private and public attempts to improve
the quality of medical services in the United States, according to David
Classen, a professor at the University of Utah Law School of Medicine.
Voluntary reporting by hospital operators and the U.S.-sanctioned method
for tracking adverse events failed to provide accurate insights into the
safety of U.S. Hospitals.
Florida, Governor Scott and legislators are trying to pass legislation that would
limit the amount of recovery Medicaid recipients may receive when they
are injured by medical errors in hospitals. If legislators' efforts
are successful, the present $500,000 cap would be reduced to $200,000,
which makes it impractical for amedical malpractice lawyer to take these cases, because the costs involved often run $250,000 alone.
The study of hospital safety issued not being recorded is just one more
reason that lawyers need to be able to pursue medical malpractice claims
against all parties involved, including hospitals, on behalf of all sectors
of the population.