Florida medical malpractice has severe consequences on the lives of those affected. It is unacceptable for patients to visit a hospital to receive treat for an ailment only to get even more ill because of poor medical care. Unfortunately, these hospital errors occur much more frequently than most residents imagine.
ABC Action News reported last week on a new government report which shines a spotlight on the quality–or lack thereof–of many local hospitals. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released information that shares the total number of “hospital acquired conditions” (HACs) reported at area facilities. These are infections and other ailments that a patient develops while they are staying in a hospital to seek aid for a separate condition. Research indicates that virtually all HACs can be prevented if hospitals follow proper prevention standards and guidelines. Common HACs include: air embolisms, blood incompatibilities, catheter-associate urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, vascular catheter-associated infections, and many others.
Unfortunately, this HAC report reveals that Florida medical malpractice occurs more frequently than many imagined. Some area hospitals scored poorly for preventable infections, bed sores, and similar HACs. A few facilities had five to ten times higher rates of these errors than the national average. When discussing statistics like this it is important to keep the focus of on the patients involved. It is easy to get mired down in data. However, the fact remains that each mistake represents another Florida family that has suffered increased pain, suffering, worry, and loss. Preventable Florida medical mistakes have real consequences on real lives.
In fact, the figures listed in the CMS data only include errors that were actually reported by administrators. Many medical mistakes are never officially documented, and so the total number of errors is likely much higher than listed here. The latest figures that attempt to account for all medical errors estimates that a staggering 100,000 patients are killed every year across the country because of preventable medical malpractice.
Release of reports like this one are a step in the right direction to tackle the problem. As one of the authors of the research explains, “If you give people more information, they can make better decisions on where to go for care.” Hospitals are often reluctant to share information on mistakes with the public. However, nothing is more important to community members than their health, and so it is logical for residents to have access to as much information as possible to help them make informed choices about their medical care.
Our Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer encourages patients to hold negligent facilities accountable if they provide care below a reasonable standard. To learn more about how your area hospital is working to prevent HACs, take a look at the searchable Florida hospital infections website. Every resident can lower their chances of becoming a victim of medical mistakes by educating themselves on the risks of these preventable errors and becoming vigilant about the care they receive.
See Our Related Blog Posts: