Any steps hospitals and clinics can take to reduce medical errors will in turn decrease avoidable outcomes and the necessity of medical malpractice lawsuits. An Ohio program designed to reduce adverse drug effects and infections among patients has received national recognition for its proven contributions to patient safety.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently visited Ohio in support of her agency’s National Quality Strategy, which promotes best practices from around the nation that have improved patient outcomes and the overall health quality of Americans. She came to Ohio to focus attention on Solutions for Patient Safety, a partnership of several Ohio health groups and 25 hospitals statewide.
Solutions for Patient Safety was launched in 2009, and claims achievements such as a reduction of hospital stays by nearly 1,000 days and over 3,500 fewer infections and adverse drug events. The reasons behind this success, which has led to an estimated $13 million in healthcare savings, include monitored hand hygiene practices, improved data collection and enhanced prevention of blood-stream infections.
Patients facing risks such as surgical errors, prescription mistakes and other types of hospital negligence deserve to know that hospital administrators recognize the economic and human impact of even the simplest medical mistakes. Risks of infection that threaten recovery from an otherwise successful procedure are often the result of medical malpractice that would not have occurred if medical professionals had followed protocol.
Whether due to failure to properly sterilize medical instrument before surgery, neglect of bed sores in a nursing home or simply forgetting to wash hands between examinations, bacteria in a medical setting can be particularly opportunistic. By instituting and reinforcing sound policies, hospital and clinic administrators can advance patient safety and avoid long-term harm to the people they serve.
Source: Solutions for Patient Safety News Release, March 21, 2011