Every day, many hardworking doctors strive to provide exceptional care for their patients. Should they need medical attention themselves, they expect to receive the same level of care that they dispense, especially since they generally have the resources to pay for it. When on the receiving end of the healthcare system, however, physicians may be shocked to find medical staff ill-prepared and inattentive. As one practitioner recently revealed on social media, even doctors can be the victims of malpractice.
When most of us hear the term medical malpractice we generally tend to think of medical error of some sort. The truth, though, is that medical malpractice encompasses a wide range of erroneous and inappropriate behavior on the part of medical professionals and their employers. A recent class action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital involving thousands of patients is a good example of this.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, every year over 400,000 people die from preventable medical error and scores more are harmed. In light of this, it can be said with certainty that Medical error is a serious issue in health care, and all of us deserve to be better informed about when medical error has occurred and about our providers’ performance records.
William Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, along with a physician and an anesthesiologist, was recently ordered to pay $7.9 million to the family of a woman who died after receiving treatment for a stomach condition. The woman died back in 2009 after undergoing gall bladder surgery.
When the average American goes to the doctor for medical services, he or she expects that their provider will exercise a reasonable amount of care and prudence with respect to their safety. Yes, most of us are aware that medical errors can and do occur, but it isn’t easy in many cases to know in advance whether or not one is at significant risk.
Our readers are all aware that medical error is not an uncommon occurrence in the United States, despite the overall high quality of medical care. Just how prevalent medical errors are, though, is not as clear to the average consumer of medical services. To remedy this problem, a nonprofit company called Leapfrog Group has launched a report card for consumers to track the safety performance of numerous acute-care hospitals.