By Joe Messa
Barring White House disapproval, Federal officials will begin testing a system designed for patients to report medical errors. The information will be gathered via voluntary questionnaires that patients can access at kiosks in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The government indicates that it is attempting to collect data involving medical mistakes, including patients being given the wrong medicine, the wrong dose of medicine or reactions to a drug; the wrong test or procedure, the wrong diagnosis or surgery on the wrong body part; or blood clots, infections, problems with anesthesia or “unclean or unsanitary care.”
According to officials, many of these medical errors often go unreported. Supporters of the new system say the information, which will be compiled and analyzed by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the ECRI Institute, could help to expose reasons for drug mix-ups, surgery on the wrong body part, radiation overdoses and myriad other problems that cause injuries, infections and tens of thousands of deaths each year. Results of the study could help to lead to new policies and procedures that may reduce errors as a result of medical malpractice.
Many hospitals say they are receptive to the idea, despite concerns about malpractice liability by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and others who provide treatment and possible financial penalties for poor performance. Since patient safety is an ongoing issue in hospitals and doctors’ offices, many medical professionals believe the reports could be useful to them as well.
The program that allows patients to report medical errors and unsafe practices would create a structure for government to monitor patient safety. At this time, there is no federal reporting system in place where consumers can report information about patient safety events.
Consumer groups are excited about the federal initiative that would make it possible for patients and their families to report medical errors and other concerns. Medical malpractice cases have proven that health care providers can miss things and make errors. Having a system in place to gather details about those medical errors would be beneficial to everyone in improving patient safety across the country.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical malpractice cases as a result of medical errors. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers 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, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose or negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice lawyers 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