For all of the good hospitals do, they can be dangerous places. The National Institute of Medicine has estimated that nearly 98,000 people die each year in hospitals throughout the US due to avoidable errors. Another 300,000 are injured due to avoidable errors. Data released by the Joint Commission in their 2013 Annual Report revealed that only 33 percent of the 3,300 Joint Commission-accredited hospitals have achieved the organization’s “top performer” rating. Another 2,400 hospitals in the U.S. are not even accredited by the Joint Commission. The numbers also highlighted that only 182 hospitals have managed to make the list for three years in a row.
Malpractice Springs From Poor Practice
With such data, it is no surprise many malpractice suits are filed. Certainly money is a driving factor, as it is the only real remedy the civil justice system can offer. This monetary compensation is certainly useful, as it can help alleviate financial hardships facing victims. However, money does not heal the injury or replace the life of the lost loved one. What most injured parties really want is the chance to shed light on the problem of malpractice, to raise awareness of what has happened to the victim and hopefully prevent it from happening again.
The negative publicity that often accompanies malpractice suits can have a big effect on reform. For example, in 1982 the American Society of Anesthesiologists conducted an extensive and comprehensive assessment of their services, determining the causes of the many lawsuits with which they were suddenly faced. With the results of these studies, the Association was able to revamp its procedures, offering mandatory monitoring and improved training, limiting the number of hours anesthesiologists could work without rest, redesigning machines, and outfitting hospitals with safety devices. As a result of their efforts, the mortality rate from anesthesia dropped from 1 in 6000 to 1 in 200000 over the next 10 years. The resulting decrease in deaths caused a decrease in anesthesiologists’ malpractice insurance rates.
What to Do If You Are Considering a Medical Malpractice Suit
Those who have fallen victim to the negligence of medical staff or hospital policy should know that they have legal rights they can exercise. The first step to seeking justice is to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like those at Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York. With over 40 years of experience aiding those who have fallen victim to medical malpractice, Fitzgerald Law Firm can guide you with knowledgeable legal advice to help you build your case and fight for it.