By Joe Messa
In our last blog post, we discussed the September 22, 2012 Wall Street Journal article, How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us, written by Dr. Marty Makary. In the article, Dr. Makary details the effect of medical errors on patient safety and talks about five things that can be done to help medical professionals learn from their errors.
His suggestions to help improve the medical treatment in American include five initiatives that could take place to reform the way patient care is handled. Our five-part series continues with a discussion of the second point he raises.
Dr. Makary says that “safety culture scores” would help to address the high rate of medical malpractice cases that affect thousands of Americans each year. Safety culture scores would assess a hospital staff’s comfort level with speaking up if they feared a medical error had or was about to occur. The score could also serve to evaluate how employees felt about other factors related to their workplace such as teamwork, safety and their specific role in patient safety.
In a survey of doctors, nurses, technicians and other employees at 60 U.S. hospitals, about one-third of employees believed the teamwork at their hospital was bad. At other hospitals, however, marks were as high as 99% of the staff reporting that teamwork at their hospital was good. The results correlated strongly with infection rates and patient outcomes proving that teamwork meant better and safer care for patients. The survey was administered by Dr. Makary and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins.
Providing this information to patients and their families would indeed help to improve patient safety. Of course, every hospital would strive to have great safety culture scores—especially if they knew the information was going to be public. Therefore, doctors and their staffs would be more mindful of creating a team environment.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases resulting from medical errors, including failure to diagnose or treat a condition, medication mistakes, incorrect surgeries, or other instances of medical malpractice. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a medical error or any other negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More