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Studies reveal interesting facts about hospital care

With all the changes happening in the health care arena in Kentucky and across the nation, some interesting numbers have recently come to light based on studies of the care that U.S. hospitalized patients are receiving. First, up to 400,000 people die in the United States each year in hospitals due to medical errors. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer. Additionally, 33 percent of all patients experience a medical-treatment harm during their hospitalization.

Thirty percent of all medical cost is wasted on fraud, unnecessary procedures, inefficiency and administration. Eighty-four percent of doctors recalled colleagues who took dangerous shortcuts, and 88 percent felt that they work with people who demonstrated poor clinical judgment. According to the report, patients in critical care experience on average two medical errors each day.

Ninety-two percent of the doctors studied admitted to making care decisions based on avoiding lawsuits and not what was best for the patient. Also, 58 percent of health care clinicians report that they would be reluctant to bring to light care issues that they feel need to be addressed.

A patient in a hospital expects to receive the best medical treatment available. When hospital errors injure a patient, delay recovery or complicate a patient's condition, an attorney may be able to secure compensation for the patient from the institution or person who is responsible for the error. If an individual or a loved one has experienced poor medical treatment or errors while being cared for in a hospital, an attorney may review the facts of the case and determine if follow-up action is appropriate for the family.

Source: Forbes, "Six Frightening Facts You Need To Know About Healthcare", Robert J. Szczerba, October 22, 2013

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