Of course, we’d like to think the best of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other members of the medical system. However, our warm and fuzzy thoughts may not always be appropriate. Many facts concerning the medical system in the US are alarming. We previously looked at five such facts, and here we’ll look at five more.
- Frequently, doctors do not receive discipline for their malpractice. According to research from 2007, state medical boards did not discipline over two-thirds of the doctors who committed malpractice on over ten patients.
- A 2007 study from Colombia University revealed results of a national survey of US doctors: nearly 46% of the survey respondents had failed to report impaired or incompetent colleagues to relevant authorities. Meanwhile, 96% of them thought they should report such colleagues.
- What’s more, according to Robert Oshel, a former associate director of research and disputes for the National Practitioner Data Bank, “Hospitals are reluctant to take actions against physicians, especially the ones who fill a lot of beds.” Research from 2009 reveals that nearly half of all US hospitals have failed to file a single report against one of their doctors to the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal database that collects information on incidents in which a doctor’s hospital-admitting privileges were revoked or restricted for more than 30 days because of issues of competency or conduct.
- According to a 2019 article in Modern Healthcare, more than 24 states require healthcare providers to report harmful medical events patients experience, but those states typically limit reportable events to a small number of “never events,” such as performing surgery on the wrong person. “Never events” only cover a small portion of all errors that occur. Only a few states report facility-specific information, and some do not report any information to the public.
- State reporting programs are plagued by underreporting. In spite of this, a 2010 report by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services may offer a clue into how frequently serious medical errors occur. According to the report, about one in seven patients (13.5%) experienced at least one serious instance of harm from medical care that prolonged their hospital stay, caused permanent harm, required life-sustaining intervention, or contributed to their deaths.
Hopefully, you do not suffer a serious harm from negligent medical care. However, if you do, you should know that you have the legal right to seek compensation through a lawsuit. You may have questions about your legal options. If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at email@example.com.