Last week, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published its new study on hospital safety, “Temporal Trends in Rates of Patient Harm Resulting from Medical Care,” and the results are alarming. (Click the link to read the study in its entirety.)
Medical mistakes by hospitals and doctors happen just as often today as they did a decade ago. It’s not getting better – medical malpractice risk remains a real danger for Americans everywhere.
According to the study, 63% of the medical errors were preventable. What all did they find was happening in hospitals? First, patients are falling and getting hurt while they are at the hospital, and they are also coming down with infections they get there.
Additionally, patients are getting the wrong prescription drugs, and doctors are not only misdiagnosing patients, they are also making medical errors during procedures.
Bottom line, you have a 25% chance of getting WORSE once you’ve entered the hospital as a patient. This statistic has not changed for many, many years. Medical malpractice remains a national epidemic.
In 2003, medical malpractice was confirmed as a national epidemic in a national study released by Dr. Chunliu Zhan and Dr. Marlene R. Miller in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which confirmed an earlier Institute of Medicine study done in 1999 that found medical mistakes killed almost 100,000 people each year in the United States (98,000 deaths annually) and suggested that medical malpractice was in reality at epidemic proportions.