In the United States of America, nearly half a million people die from medical mistakes each year. Medical errors that result in medical malpractice rank as the third highest cause of death, after fatalities attributed to cardiovascular failure and cancer. Medical errors can include fatal mistakes committed by doctors, patient infections contracted post-surgery, problems with medical devices such as pacemakers and other medical implant devices, and a variety of other scenarios. Moreover, the issue of medical malpractice is a growing problem due to our aging population.
Increasing Calls for National Healthcare Safety Reforms
As more Americans access the healthcare system for longer term care, the breakdowns in our healthcare system have become more transparent over the years. Both government agencies and public health advocacy groups have been demanding reforms. In response, the healthcare community has been working to implement solutions that would offer patients better protection from medical errors and a higher standard of care.
A Fatal Business Model for Patients
Dr. Lucian Leape, who teaches at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, acknowledges the problems within the U.S. healthcare industry. He highlights two factors he believes significantly contribute to the high number of medical mistakes occurring in hospitals across the country. The first factor is a healthcare system expected to run on a business model of profit for shareholders above all else. While this reality is inherently dangerous for patients, it is compounded by an entrenched hospital culture that places doctors on a pedestal and elevates their status to that of demi-gods who are not required to take responsibility for their actions or the actions of their peers.
Public Health Advocacy Groups Call for Increased Government Oversight
Many public health advocacy groups believe that the government should become significantly engaged in working to help eradicate the frequency of medical errors. Advocates suggest that one of the best ways for government agencies to instigate significant reforms of the healthcare industry is to monitor hospital safety protocols and compliance far more closely than is done currently.
New Safety Protocols Indicate Potential for Decreasing Hospital Mistakes
Select hospitals and organizations are implementing new safety protocols that have resulted in positive change. For example, the American Hospital Association has improved patient-safety programs and is requiring its member hospitals to publish regular safety and quality reports that are posted on the Medicare portal,Hospital Compare. Similar strategies are being adopted at other hospitals around the country, including Johns Hopkins University Hospital, which requires peer review to help keep doctors accountable for the critical services they provide.
Cherry Hill Medical Malpractice Lawyers at The Law Offices of David Cuneo Advocate for Victims of Hospital Mistakes
Many hospitals and healthcare providers require patients to sign paperwork releasing the provider from any liability in the event of a medical error or mistake. However, patients who have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, error, or mistake, should consult with a Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyer to determine their options for filing a claim and pursuing compensation and damages. If you are a surviving family member of someone who was fatally injured by a hospital mistake, you may be entitled to pursue wrongful deathcompensation on their behalf.
The Law Offices of David Cuneo are conveniently located in Collingswood, New Jersey and we represent clients in Cherry Hill, Westmont, Haddonfieldand Collingswood with a variety of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice and wrongful death. Call us at 856-869-9066 or submit an online inquiry to speak with a top medical malpractice lawyer in Cherry Hill.