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Feds: most medical malpractice incidents are swept under rug

A new report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that most hospital errors go unreported. The study found that only one in seven hospital errors which harmed patients were reported. Even more worrisome was that even when hospitals did investigate the few medical malpractice incidents that were reported, the hospitals rarely changed their practices to decrease the likelihood that the patient harm would reoccur.

The federal report highlights the importance of medical malpractice attorneys in making sure that patients are protected from harm. Hospitals and doctors are often eager to sweep their mistakes under the rug and fail to keep patient safety in mind. A medical malpractice attorney can not only help a patient obtain the compensation that he or she is entitled to, but a medical malpractice lawsuit can also help change the dangerous practices of a hospital so that future patients are not endangered.

There are a variety of medical malpractice instances which commonly arise in California including obstetrical and surgical mistakes, elder care errors, Kaiser and other HMO missteps, emergency room negligence, misdiagnosis, and failure to provide prompt treatment. Any one of these mistakes can lead to permanent personal injury and death. Hospital corporations and National Hospital proprietors charge substantial sums for their services and it is only fair for patients to expect a competent level of medical service that does not worsen existing health problems or create new ones.

Source: New York Times, “Report Finds Most Errors at Hospitals Go Unreported,” Robert Pear, Jan. 6, 2012