Nearly 40 Percent of California Hospitals Receive Failing Grades
Hospitals and the professionals that staff them save millions of lives a year. Whether requiring emergency services, outpatient procedures, cancer-curing surgeries, or routine surgeries, hospitals are the place patients can rely on a medical doctor’s expertise to cure them of their ailments. While most hospitals are considered safe, a troubling study recently exposed the fact that nearly 40 percent of hospitals in the state of California are operating under average to below-average ratings. Whether involving hospital protocols or procedures or the medical professionals themselves, bad practices are contributing to medical malpractice in the state of California.Failing Grades at California Hospitals
According to a nationwide study conducted by the Leapfrog Group, approximately four in 10 California hospitals received a “grade” of C or lower for patient safety. The study primarily surrounded processes related to surgery and the utilization of computer-based prescription systems to minimize error, according to the LA Times. Grades were, in part, based on infection rates, accidents, and errors.
Medical professionals have little to no room for error. Doctors are expected to come up with an initial diagnosis for patients, create a treatment plan, and see the patient through that treatment plan. Medical staff are entrusted with patient charts, labs, and smaller-scale medical responsibilities. The hospital or medical facility itself must be on top of technology, keep charts organized, and ensure procedures and policies are in place and enforced to minimize errors or mix-ups. Each of these tasks contribute to the overall effectiveness, safety, and atmosphere of a medical professional center, and all have various areas in which something could go wrong.
Many people are involved in the care of one patient. In a routine visit to the hospital, there may be a check-in personnel that may be a nurse or aide. There may be one to two doctors, a surgeon, a specialist, an x-ray technician, a resident or intern, someone transporting patients from room to room for studies, a lab associate, and a specialist, depending on the reasons for the visit. If you are prescribed medication, you trust that the physician or physician’s assistant accurately puts in the dosage, and that the pharmacist fills the prescription as written. From the very first time you walk into the hospital through the time you leave with your prescription and treatment plan, you are trusting a large number of people, policies, and procedures to be accurate. This is a contributing factor as to why medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.The Good News
While nearly four in 10 California hospitals received low grades, 43 percent received an “A” score. This interactive map published by the LA Times shows some of the better (and worse) places to visit the next time you have a routine surgery scheduled. Being aware of the possible negative implications of hospitalization can also make for a better overall experience. Staying on top of your medical treatments, listening carefully to the doctor, confirming prescriptions and appointments, and seeking second opinions can all help you minimize the possibility of being a victim of medical negligence.
Consider also that medical professionals are held to one of the highest standards of care in professional circles. Doctors are entrusted with patients’ lives; from making initial diagnoses, quick decisions during surgery, treatment plans, and recovery plans, there is very little room for error with things as important as a person’s health. Medical facilities are graded very seriously given the importance of the things that happen on their watch. California has hundreds of hospitals to choose from when you seek your medical care; doing some research on your medical facility and physician is one easy way to stay active in your medical treatment and to take control of an important decision.San Jose Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Even the best medical professionals and hospitals can make mistakes. When you have suffered an irreparable injury due to medical malpractice, lost wages due to missed work because of an undisclosed medical complication, or received treatment for something you did not consent to, the people and places responsible for these injuries must be held accountable. Our experienced San Jose medical malpractice lawyers at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. cannot emphasize enough the importance of seeking legal counsel as soon as you suffer an injury at the hands of a medical doctor or hospital.
When someone alleges medical malpractice, there is a small window of opportunity to build a case. The sooner you consult with a California medical malpractice attorney, the sooner our knowledgeable staff can reach out to the doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and others familiar with your care and treatment and take statements while your hospital stay is fresh in their mind. Moreover, there is a limited time period in which the courts allow you to make a claim. According to California law, a medical negligence case must be brought no more than one year from the time in which the victim knew or should have known about the injury or three years from the date of injury, whichever is the earlier date. If you or anyone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice in California, contact our San Jose office for a complimentary consultation today by calling (408) 289-1417 or fill out the online contact form.