Selecting a safe hospital can reduce your risk of avoidable death by medical malpractice by 50%. This is according to an analysis of newly updated hospital safety score grades. Additionally, you have a 1 in 25 chance of leaving the hospital with a newly acquired infection. Selecting the best hospital may help lessen your chance of obtaining a hospital acquired infection. Using recently released hospital safety grades you can determine, how safe is your hospital.
Today alone, more than 1,000 people will die because of a preventable hospital error. This is why patient safety is so important. Strong healthcare reduces infection rates, puts checks in place to prevent mistakes, and ensures strong lines of communication among hospital staff and with patients.
Not every hospital places an emphasis on patient safety. Hospital teams and staff may not work well together or communicate effectively to protect patients. Hospitals may not have procedures in place to catch and remedy errors leaving patients at risk.
What should I do if I see an error made in the hospital?
Patients should have advocates while they are in the hospital. Whether they have an advocate from the hospital or a family member or friend, it is better for the patient to have someone looking out for them. If the patient or their advocate feel like a mistake or error has been committed, they should:
- Tell your nurse right away.
- Don’t wait to report the incident. Call a nurse to your bed if need be.
- Be respectful, yet firm when discussing the mistake.
- Make sure to tell them that you want a report back and follow up requesting results.
- If you are discharged before you hear back, contact the hospital’s patient advocate office, risk management office, or patient liaison. There should be a designated office at the hospital to work with patients to resolve issues.
Many hospitals have a system for reporting errors. The hospital may have a hotline or someone within the patient advocate office or risk management designated to hear patient complaints. However, if the complaint is never made, the problem may not be corrected.
Research your Hospital Before your Procedure
If possible, conduct research on your hospital before any planned procedure. You may not be able to decide what hospital you will go to in an emergency situation, but if you have a choice, you should do your homework before you’re admitted.
Also, it may be worth your time to review your local hospitals well before you need them. This way you are armed in advance with the knowledge of where you may and may not want your family to be treated. What grade did your local hospital receive?