Posted on February 15th, 2012
There’s been a lot of good news lately about what hospitals are doing to protect patients by improving their infection control practices to embracing palliative care. We urge you to be aware of the other issues that exist, and are often not even reported. Our readers should be aware that advertised increased safety does not equal perfection.
For every advancement in patient safety, some hospitals are falling behind in certain areas. Any error in your medical treatment runs the risk of causing more harm to you or your loved one’s health. What is truly appalling is that hospital employees only recognize and report 1 out of every 7 mishaps, despite the fact that Medicare reimbursements to hospitals is contingent upon tracking and reporting such adverse events.
Despite the existence of reporting systems, hospitals and staff are not reporting most events that harm these patients. Even of the most serious instances, including some events that caused patients to die. Some hospitals have made little change to the policies and procedures regarding reporting, even after employees have reported the harm to patients. In many cases the hospital executives told federal investigators that the events did not signify systemic quality problems.
It was at one time that employees were afraid to admit to making mistakes due to fear of reprisal. Now however, employees do not know what causes patients harm nor do they realize that certain events should be reported. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Baltimore feel that it is appalling that certain mistakes and mishaps are so common that hospital staff consider it to be insignificant or isolated.
Medicare is developing a list of reportable events in hopes to eliminate some of the unreported instances. Medicare has also said that hospitals should give employees detailed training and instructions that is unambiguous on the types of events that should be reported.
The medical malpractice attorneys in Baltimore at the Snyder Litigation Team believe it’s apprehensible that this has not already been done.