New Study Suggests Hospital Safety Is Not Improving


July 02, 2011

When Atlanta residents visit the hospital, they generally expect to leave the hospital in better condition than when they arrived.

Hospitals are inundated with patients, with over 120 million emergency room visits alone each year. Sadly, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that many of those forced to visit hospitals may suffer serious injury.

The study tracked hospital admissions in ten separate hospitals over a five-year period and found that almost twenty percent of those in the study that made visits to a hospital suffered some form of injury during their stay. Almost twelve percent of those injured suffered a life-threatening injury. Another concerning revelation is that there did not appear to be any significant improvement in injury rates during the period of the study. The results suggest that measures being implemented to make hospitals safer have generally been ineffective.

Adverse medical conditions and injuries acquired during a stay in the hospital may result in as much as a twofold increase in the patient’s hospital stay and substantially increase the medical costs. The study was designed as a follow-up to the results of a 1999 publication of the Institute of Medicine's report To Err Is Human. The 1999 report found that hospital errors were responsible for over 98,000 patient deaths and over a million patient injuries per year.

The recent study concludes that there has not been significant improvement in the twelve-year period since the original study. The study also indicates that despite significant investment in resources to help prevent injuries and make hospitals safer, the failure to implement certain measures has made that investment relatively ineffective. The study suggests a number of measures to reduce medical malpractice, hospital infections and other injuries suffered by hospital visitors including:

  • Lack of comprehensive implementation of hospital and medical records
  • Excessively long shifts worked by nurses and resident physicians
  • Failure to follow basic protocols including washing of hands to prevent spread of infection

The negligence or failure of a hospital to provide adequate medical care can result in serious injury and even death. The experienced Georgia hospital injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates handle all types of hospital negligence including injuries related to negligent delivery or birth, emergency room mistakes, failure to diagnose, drug and medication errors, failure to conduct proper diagnostic screening, surgical mistakes and inappropriate specialist referrals.

If you suffer a serious hospital injury or have lost a loved one as a result of negligent, sub-standard hospital care, our experienced Georgia hospital injury attorneys diligently represent the best interests of our clients. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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