More than 180,000 people die every year from hospital errors in Florida and across the country.
These mistakes range from botched surgeries to blown diagnoses.
Here are Five Top Causes of Hospital Negligence in Florida, based on jury verdicts, malpractice insurance claims and research from the American Association of Retired People.
- Medication Errors. Approximately 400,000 drug-related injuries occur each year in hospitals nationwide, according to a study from the Institute of Medicine. To combat this problem, hospitals are using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems. These programs eliminate transcription errors by requiring doctors to enter prescriptions into a computer electronically.
- Infections. Each year, five to 10 percent of patients get a preventable infection in the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 100,000 patients die from infections. To avert such tragedies, hospitals are requiring mandatory checklists like those used by airline pilots, even for routine procedures.
- Inadequate Supervision. Hospitals employ a wide variety of caregivers, from surgeons to scrub nurses. Strict supervision must be provided all the way down the line. When nurses and assistants exceed their authority by doing things outside of their area of expertise, patients are placed at risk.
- Lack of Informed Consent. Patients must be given full and adequate information about the nature of their ailment, the proposed course of treatment, possible alternative treatments, and risks and benefits. This should be done in writing. Most hospitals use standardized consent forms.
- Diagnosis Failures. A misdiagnosis of cancer or other medical problem can have tragic consequences for a hospital patient. But a delayed diagnosis can be just as deadly. Time is critical for treatment, radiology tests and emergency room care. One solution is for hospitals to create and follow strict protocols. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO), for example, have established effective protocols for making accurate diagnoses.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of a preventable medical error, contact Florida injury attorney Philip DeBerard. Send us your information for a free consultation.