Medical malpractice

Hospitals Fail To Document Family Reported Medical Errors

March 28, 2017 by James McHugh, Jr.
Medical Error Attorneys

Hospitals should be places for the sick and injured to get better, but in some instances, hospitals can expose patients to further unique dangers. Medical errors are a real threat to patients and even the smallest errors could have fatal consequences. Hospitals keep track of the number of medical errors that occur in their facilities, but a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests hospitals aren’t recording medical errors reported by family members of patients.

Researchers looked at 746 parents of 989 hospitalized pediatric patients. In total, 185 families of the young patients reported 225 medical errors. However, the hospitals only recorded 43% of these family reported medical errors. So why aren’t hospitals including family reported medical errors?

Currently, hospitals only record medical errors observed by hospital staff. However, on average, the inclusion of family reported medical errors would raise a hospital’s rate of medical error by 16%.

What Is A Medical Error?

A medical error is any preventable mistake or adverse event during care that causes harm to a patient. Medical errors can include prescription medication errors, surgical mistakes, and anesthesia errors, among others. Many medical errors are caused by negligence. If hospital staff fail to record accurate information in a patient’s chart, or if staff administer incorrect dosages of medication, patients could suffer severe consequences.

How To Protect Yourself From Medical Errors

The best way for patients to protect themselves from medical errors is to research all healthcare facilities and physicians before treatment. Available records and reviews can tell you if certain facilities or doctors have reported higher rates of patients harm than others. For patients in need of immediate medical treatment, the best way to protect against medical errors is to ask questions about the diagnosis and treatment.

Although patients can take steps to help protect themselves, ultimately it is up to the hospitals and their staff to prevent medical errors. When patients suffer injuries as a result of medical errors, hospitals need to be held responsible.

Medical Error Attorneys For Philadelphia Families

If you have suffered injuries due to a medical error, or if you noticed a medical error happen to a loved one, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action. The medical error attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP can explain your legal options and pursue compensation on your behalf. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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