New System for Patients to report Medical Mistakes

As reported by the New York Times[1][1], the Obama administration wants consumers to report medical mistakes and unsafe practices by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and others who provide treatment.  In the flier, the government asks: œHave you recently experienced a medical mistake? Do you have concerns about the safety of your health care? And it urges patients to contact a new œconsumer reporting system for patient safety.  According to the Times, the system through online and telephone surveys would collect information on:

  • Details of the mistake;
  • The date and location of the adverse event, and whether it resulted in harm;
  • The type of harm;
  • Contributing factors; and
  • Whether the patient reported the event and to whom[2][2]

The government says it will use information submitted by patients to make health care safer. Federal officials say that medical mistakes often go unreported, and that patients have potentially useful information that could expose reasons for drug mix-ups, surgery on the wrong body part, radiation overdoses and myriad other problems that cause injuries, infections and tens of thousands of deaths each year.
Teamwork a Key Feature of Patient Safety
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently was in the news after publishing a report of a unique nationwide patient safety project  which reduced the rate of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in intensive care units by 40 percent. The project used the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to achieve its results that include preventing more than 2,000 CLABSIs, saving more than 500 lives and avoiding more than $34 million in health care costs. CLABSIs are one type of healthcare-associated infection (HAI). HAIs are infections that affect patients while they are receiving treatment for another condition in a health care setting. HAIs are a common complication of hospital care, affecting one in 20 patients in hospitals at any point in time. The CUSP is a customizable program that helps hospital units address the foundation of how clinical teams care for patients. It combines clinical best practices with an understanding of the science of safety, improved safety culture, and an increased focus on teamwork.  The medical community is starting to take notice of the importance of team work.  Dr. Clancy, Director of AHRQ, blogged as  to the significance of the recent findings. “A combination of teamwork, the best clinical practices and a strong commitment to safety reduced by 40 percent the chance that patients would get one type of these infections.”   [3][3] Lack of Quality Medical Care can lead to a Medical Malpractice Claim
At Edwards & Ragatz, P.A., we recognize that doctors cannot guarantee any type of result and that not every patient can recover from an illness or injury, even when quality care is given. Our medical malpractice attorneys, along with nurses, medical experts and professional staff can determine if negligence has occurred in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation by filling out the contact us form or calling (904) 399-1609.



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