How Safe Is Your Hospital?

On average, 1 in 31 patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Although the US has made significant strides in eliminating HAIs making healthcare in the country safer than it was a decade ago, it is vital to build upon this success and continue to eliminate the threat. Hospital safety grades were also released in spring 2021 rating the ability of hospitals to safeguard patients by preventing avoidable errors, injuries, infections, and accidents. According to the report, 33% of hospitals were rated A, 24% received a B grade, while 7% got a D and less than 1% an F.

Preventing Harm in Healthcare

Based on the Leapfrog Group report, 27 US hospitals received 19 consecutive ‘A’ grades since the Safety Grade was launched in 2012. The president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group said that A-graded hospitals have robust safety structures in place. They are continuously monitoring data and improving areas of concern. These medical facilities were better prepared to handle the pandemic because their top priority was patient safety.

Unfortunately, not all hospitals are top notch when it comes to safety and quality. As a result, medical errors, accidents, and misdiagnosis can happen that can have fatal consequences. According to legal experts at JJS, patients who are victims of malpractice or medical negligence can file a personal injury lawsuit against a facility. They can be entitled to compensation if it can be proven that the doctor acted negligently in giving care that resulted to injury. Hence, professional duty owed to the patient must be established in addition to breach of such duty that caused the injury, that, in turn, caused damages.

How to Stay Safe in a Facility

Staying safe when in a hospital also means taking charge of your own care. It’s important that you choose the right facility to treat your medical condition. Having a proactive relationship with your physician is vital as well in improving care and reducing hospitalizations. Make sure that your concerns are being heard by your care team. Be assertive, but stay respectful of medical staff. For example, know what you want to ask your doctor so that you can stay on top of your condition. Document your treatment so you know what has been done.

If you feel that a medical error has been committed, make sure that there is someone who can speak on your behalf. To illustrate, shifts in hospitals can cause safety hazard like moving from an intensive care unit (ICU) to a standard hospital floor. A family member can raise concerns to the medical staff to see if a mistake has been made.

Something can always go wrong in a medical setting. The point is you can also increase the odds of staying safe in a hospital by taking part in the management of your care.

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