A study published by a team of patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins University in May claims that medical errors are the third leading cause of the deaths in the US, with more than 250,000 annual deaths.
This figure comes after a push for patient safety is on the rise throughout the nation. Experts claim this figure, which is larger than the total deaths from respiratory diseases, is a product of a system that is geared toward physician profits and not an accurate understanding of patient death. This lack of understanding is worsened by the common practices of issuing patients’ unnecessary medical treatments.
Despite this news, healthcare professionals and patient safety experts alike are cautioning that this is new figure is not due to “bad doctors”. Instead, these numbers may represent a systemic issue within the American healthcare system and exposes the rate of individuals suffering from poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, and the absence or underuse of patient safety nets.
Many organizations have sprung up to offer resources for patients to use in order to maximize their safety while receiving medical treatment. Experts suggest that patients should do the following to ensure their medical care is both necessary and done professionally:
- Ask questions to your physician about treatment
- Seek a second opinion from another practitioner
- Bring along and consult a knowledgeable health advocate
These steps are some of the best practices to help patients avoid inaccurate healthcare. Doctors are human and the understaffed, and underfunded conditions they are sometimes forced to practice in create a space where medical errors can become deadly. However, these practices could help prevent these tragic outcomes.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a medical error, contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer. Our dedicated legal team at Emerson Straw prides itself on providing diligent advocacy for victims of negligence. Reach out to one of our experienced team members to begin reviewing your legal options.