Preventable medical errors third leading cause of death in US

Preventable medical errors third leading cause of death in US

Preventable medical errors continue to plague the American health system, with deaths from medical mistakes accounting for nearly 250,000 fatalities per year, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Medical errors may occur in any hospital setting, but some of the more common areas are surgical errors (wrong site surgeries or objects left in bodies), prescription errors (with either the dosage being too high/low or the wrong medication given), and communication errors (whether between doctor and patient or hospital staff). Efforts have been made to help eliminate/reduce these errors. One method aimed at reducing errors has been to increase the use of electronic medical records. However, this has had the unintended consequence of increasing the amount of medical malpractice that is a result of the reliance on erroneous record keeping (subsequent health care providers may assume the correct information has been entered and fail to independently verify entries.) Further, there has been an uptick in doctor “burnout”, with some experts pointing to the increased number of hours required to input information into a computer, rather than seeing patients. In order to combat doctor burnout, hospitals are starting to develop wellness programs and other measures aimed at improving doctors’ and hospital staff’s quality of life.

However, despite these efforts the incidence of preventable medical errors remains all too high.

If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a medical mistake, we urge you to contact our dedicated medical malpractice lawyers at once. For an immediate, confidential consultation, please contact our San Diego medical malpractice attorneys at Bostwick Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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