20% of Hospitals Refuse to Reduce Medical Errors

checklist 0837A number of hospitals have established policies that are specifically aimed at reducing preventable medical errors in their facilities. That is good news for patients and families who receive their care in these hospitals. However, new statistics released by the Leapfrog Group indicate that more progress must be made in educating hospitals about the importance of reducing errors and protecting patients.

According to Leapfrog, as many as one in five hospitals in the United States have failed to establish a policy that would require the hospital to reduce the number of medical errors that occur in the facility. This means that nearly 80% of hospitals have failed to comply with the group’s standard for the prevention of medical errors and patient safety.  This number remained consistent between 2012 and 2014, the most current data available.

These statistics are not the only problems related to hospital compliance that Leapfrog has observed. According to the report, as many as one in six hospitals in the United States have high central line-associated infection rates.  One-in-ten hospitals have a very poor record in the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections.  These are two of the most common infections that patients acquire in a hospital, and they are linked to much lengthier hospitalization stays, and even higher fatalities.

The failure of hospitals to implement safety measures is an unfortunate reality and one which places many Indiana patients and families at an on-going risk.  The Leapfrog organization provides up-to-date information for any hospital who agrees to participate.  Cities like New York and San Francisco have valuable information on their hospitals.  Amazingly, not one hospital in Indianapolis has provided data to the Leapfrog program.

The good news, however, is that in 2014, more than 1,500 hospitals across the United States agreed to voluntarily report information to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. According to the group, that is the highest number of hospitals that have participated in the survey to date. That indicates a greater willingness on the part of hospitals to become transparent about their operations.

However, other data released by Leapfrog also indicate that there still remains a lot of work to be done. Many hospitals must realize that the culture of sweeping problems under the rug, and reacting in a knee-jerk fashion when a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed against the hospital, will no longer do. Prevention is the key word here, and hospitals must establish policies that specifically deal with preventing errors.

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured as a result of medical negligence across Indiana.  Contact our office today.