Preventable Medical Errors Frequent At US Hospitals

Preventable Medical Errors Frequent At US Hospitals

A recent study revealed that the number of preventable errors that occur each year is likely far greater than had been previously reported. The landmark study – To Err is Human - published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999 estimated that nearly 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors. However, an update of this estimate using recent statistics places that figure closer to 400,000 – an astounding figure.

If you believe that you or a loved one may have been harmed as the result of a preventable medical error, we urge you to consult with an experienced San Diego medical error attorney immediately to begin an investigation into all of the factors that may have caused or contributed to the injury.

Researchers looked at a variety of factors to reach this conclusion.

Some of the issues faced by hospitals that increased the likelihood of errors include:

• the lack of comprehensive continuing education for doctors and nurses leads to knowledge and performance deficiencies

• staffing issues

• Poor communication – especially during hand-offs between shifts

• Delays in implementation of electronic medical record systems

• Increased demand in for-profit hospital may increase the risk of preventable adverse events

Researchers note, "It should be no surprise that [preventable adverse events] that harm patients are frighteningly common in this highly technical, rapidly changing, and poorly integrated industry. The picture is further complicated by a lack of transparency and limited accountability for errors that harm patients."

The authors further conclude, "The epidemic of patient harm in hospitals must be taken more seriously if it is to be curtailed."

As San Diego medical malpractice attorneys dedicated to patient safety, we agree. Please contact our compassionate and skilled San Diego medical malpractice law firm if you believe that you, or someone you love, has been harmed by medical negligence.


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