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The hospital should be a place where you go to get better, but too often, the opposite happens. According to a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, surgical error, infections, and other medical mistakes cause 180,000 hospital deaths annually. Another 1.4 million hospital patients are seriously hurt during their hospital admission by medical and nursing error. What’s worse, these figures are only those related to Medicare patients! The real statistics are less clear because only Medicare has a tracking system to check for hospital negligence. The real statistics for all patients must be staggering, but the numbers are not clear because they are’t tracked and because hospital grossly under-report the things that go wrong.
According to Rosemary Gibson, a patient care advocate and author, more than 2.5 million people will probably die from medical mistakes this decade, which is like losing the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont! That is like a gigantic man made disaster. While some hospitals have responded with safety initiatives, others have done little or nothing. An article this month in Consumer Reports rates hospitals nationwide. Some hospitals in Florida fare poorly. Before agreeing to having a loved one’s surgery at any hospital, it would behoove you and your family to investigate their quality of care and safety record. Visit Consumer Reports and review this recent article and your hospital’s safety rating. Visit the Health Grades website and check your hospital’s ratings. Visit the Hospital Safety Score website for similar information, and also, see what the Department of Health & Human Services hospital compare website has to say about your hospital.
Remember, all hospitals are not the same. You must be proactive when choosing your medical care. Research your hospital before having any type of surgery or procedure. You may find information that leads you to ask your surgeon to select another hospital. If the worst happens and you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, contact The Florida Firm for a free consultation.