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Many hospitals are failing to keep patients safe

Ohio residents would expect hospitals to do all they can to ensure patient safety, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nationwide, as many as 440,000 people die each year from injuries, accidents or illnesses linked to hospital errors. Every year, 1 in 25 people who go to a hospital contract acquire a preventable infection. Most illnesses and injuries in hospitals are preventable.

Patients who are concerned about a potential accident or who see an error made by a doctor or nurse should speak up, first of all to the bedside nurse. If no one is around whom patients are familiar with, they should immediately report the incident. They should maintain a respectful tone yet be assertive.

If the error impacts patients themselves, they could have a hospital employee investigate the matter. If the employee does not get back to patients by the time they have been discharged, they should contact the hospital’s patient or family relations department.

Hospitals may do well to focus on patient quality, but quality depends on patient safety. Whereas quality is concerned with doing things well, safety is concerned with avoiding things that are done poorly. It is not enough that patient care becomes more efficient and streamlined, and patients, with their unique perspective on hospital activities, can give voice to this fact.

Hospital negligence is behind many malpractice claims. Those who were harmed may want a lawyer to look over their case and determine how much they might be eligible for in damages. They may have the lawyer negotiate on their behalf, warding off any attempts to force them into a low-ball settlement. The lawyer may litigate as a last resort.

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