USA Today Piece Highlights Medical Errors

When you go to the hospital, they have your medical records - but does it work in reverse? Do you have your hospital’s safety records? Today’s front page article in USA Today highlights a very scary and real health crisis: 

Despite years of criticism, the nation's state medical boards continue to allow thousands of physicians to keep practicing medicine after findings of serious misconduct that puts patients at risk ... Many of the doctors have been barred by hospitals or other medical facilities; hundreds have paid millions of dollars to resolve malpractice claims. Yet their medical licenses — and their ability to inflict harm — remain intact.

Patients are at a higher risk for medical errors than they may know.  Each year 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors.  According to USA Today, state medical boards and hospitals are failing to report and discipline dangerous healthcare providers, and patients are left in the dark: 

Doctors with the worst malpractice records keep treating patients… fewer than one in five faced any sort of licensure action by their state medical boards.

Accountability is key to improving patient safety. When no one is accountable no one in safe. The civil justice system gives families of patients who have died or have been injured by medical negligence an avenue to seek accountability. It also provides an incentive to health care providers to improve patient care. 

These aren’t just statistics.  These are real people who are killed by preventable medical errors and real families that are left devastated.  In USA Today’s article, two women died in similar fashions at the hands of the same doctor. The mother of one of the women, Jennifer Chaney, spoke about losing Jennifer.  Hear what she had to say: