October 26, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Hospitals Get Creative in Attempts to Improve Patient Safety
The faulty care provided to patients in hospitals is a leading cause of death in the U.S., trailing only heart disease and cancer, U.S. government data shows. The government estimated in 2010 that faulty medical care contributed to the death of about 15,000 Medicare patients monthly, according to The Washingtonian. To promote safety of their patients -- whether they have Medicare or not -- doctors and nurses follow certain safety measures, such as following a short checklist to eliminate wrong-site surgeries.
The use of checklists is a part of a universal protocol required by the Joint Commission, an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits U.S. hospitals. According to the Joint Commission, the universal protocol was created to prevent wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-person surgeries and other procedures by eliminating confusion about surgery-site marking and facilitating communication among surgical team members.
Checklists are effective in non-surgery scenarios as well. One such checklist used at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland led to a dramatic decrease in bloodstream infections from the insertion of a tube, catheter or ventilator in intensive-care units. That checklist required the following:
-Clean the patient's skin with antiseptic
-Put a sterile draping over the patient
-Wear a mask, hat, sterile gown and gloves
-Put a sterile dressing over the insertion site once the tube is in
Other Patient-Safety Strategies
According to the Joint Commission, as many as 40 wrong-site surgeries occur each week in US hospitals and clinics. Facing these disheartening statistics -- and the accompanying risk of medical malpractice lawsuits and other related consequences -- some hospitals take it upon themselves to improve patient safety. In addition to checklists, reported The Washingtonian, hospitals employ strategies such as:
-Ramping up pressure on employees to wash their hands
-Improving communication between doctors and nurses
-Designing equipment to reduce errors
-Digitizing patient records
Regardless of safety protocols, it is inevitable that hospitals and clinics will not achieve absolute perfection. Doctors and nurses are prone to make mistakes, and sometimes they fail to follow safety standards. Those who believe they have been injured by a medical professional's negligence should contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate their case and identify potential legal claims.
Article provided by Chopin Wagar Richard & Kutcher, LLP
Visit us at http://www.chopin.com---
Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com
# # #Read more Press Releases from FL Web Advantage: