Articles Tagged with malpractice’

Tennessee’s nursing homes rank the 5th worst in the United States, according to an analysis done by the Tennessean.   

The February 3, 2010 article points out that 

[a]bout 15,000 nursing homes nationwide got ratings of one to five stars, with five being the best, from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The ratings are based on inspections, complaint investigations, staffing levels and other nursing home survey data collected in 2008 and 2009.

You know that patient safety is not a priority in a hospital when your state regulatory agency orders that cameras be installed in your operating rooms.

Rhode Island Hospital has had five wrong-site surgeries since 2007.  Here is how the AP described the last incident:

The latest incident last month involved a patient who was to have surgery on two fingers. Instead, the surgeon performed both operations on the same finger. Under protocols adopted in the medical field, the surgery site should have been marked and the surgical team should have taken a timeout before cutting to ensure they were operating on the right patient, the right part of the patient’s body and doing the correct procedure.

The Commercial Appeal wrote an interesting story on medical malpractice litigation in today’s paper.  Read it here.

An excerpt:

Nationwide, the number of payments physicians made for malpractice claims fell to 11,037 last year — the lowest figure since the National Practitioner Data Bank began tracking data in 1990. Adjusted for inflation, the total $3.6 billion they paid was the second-lowest sum on record.

Every day, more than  5 Tennesseans die as a result of medical malpractice.

How do I know such a thing?  Simple math.  The Institute of Medicine has reported that 98,000 people a year die from medical malpractice.  Think about it:  the death rate from medical malpractice  is the equivalent of a large commercial airline crash every day that results in the death of 268 people.

The USA has about 300,000,000 people.  Tennessee has about 6,000,000 citizens, or 2% of the total.  Assuming that the rate of medical errors that result in death in Tennessee is no better and no worse than anywhere else in the country,  1960 Tennesseans die every year as a result of medical malpractice (2% x 98,000).  And that works out to 163 people per month.  That is the equivalent of a commuter jet crash in Tennessee every week that results in the death of about 40 people.

This column from the Business Section of today’s Los Angeles Times attacks the myth that restriction of the rights of patients to hold health care providers responsible for harming patients must be a part of national healthcare reform.  

An excerpt: 

Every circus needs a sideshow, which must be why every time the issue of rising medical costs gets debated, politicians start clamoring for "tort reform."