PHILADELPHIA, PA, November 01, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A hospital is supposed to be a place where people can count on getting the highest standard of care. A hospital should gather together high-quality medical specialists in a way that allows them to work together to serve the needs of patients in a controlled environment with all the benefits of modern medical technology.
Unfortunately, hospitals have become something else. They have become, like most things in our modern society, machines whose primary--and possibly only--function is to manufacture profits for their owners. Hospitals seek to generate profit in many ways, and many of them lead to negligent care and medical malpractice
Negligent Use of Residents
Residents are medical students training to be doctors. They are going through a stint in a teaching hospital that gives them on-the-job training for becoming doctors. Although residents are supposed to be closely supervised during their residency, the truth is that many teaching hospitals see residents as cheap labor that can increase profits, so they often act as doctors with little or no supervision. Use of these residents is dangerous to patients, and has been linked to a 10% rise in patient deaths in July, when they first begin their residencies.
Not only are residents poorly supervised, they are horribly exploited in ways that increase risks to patients. Until 2003, it was normal for residents to work 120-hour weeks. That has since been limited to 80 hours, but little has been done otherwise to protect patient safety. First-year residents are still allowed to work exhausting 16-hour shifts, and after their first year, residents are allowed to work 24-hour shifts.
These long shifts are traditions from the time when cocaine was commonly used by doctors to help them get by, but it's likely that even then doctors were so worn out by the end of their shift that they likely made serious errors.
Giving Patients Tests, Not Time
Another way that hospitals seek to improve their profits is by transforming expensive diagnostic equipment into revenue generators. When a hospital purchases a new piece of equipment, doctors tend to order tests using that piece of equipment, expensive tests that may have little or no value. Although this is often described as "defensive medicine," it's more likely due to doctors' tendency to utilize medical technology just because it's there.
However, doctors often don't look at the results of the tests they order. The results may be interpreted by another doctor who may not have the context necessary to properly understand them, or, if the patient is discharged before the results come back, they may simply be put in a patient's file, never looked at and never evaluated.
Another problem is that doctors are just too busy to give patients the time necessary to listen to their complaints and consider their symptoms.
Attorneys Can Help Penalize Hospital Negligence
The only way to combat profit-driven medicine is to attack it at the root: its profits. Medical malpractice lawsuits do just this by creating financial penalties for negligent actions that put patients at risk. If you or a loved one has been the victim of hospital negligence, your medical malpractice lawsuit can penalize them and encourage them to put patient safety first. Attorneys can help you file and pursue a lawsuit over the hospital negligence that hurt you or your loved one.
To learn more about your legal rights and options as a victim of medical malpractice in Philadelphia, please visit the website of Atlee Hall
today at www.atleehall.com
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