Indiana medical malpractice lawyers are well aware of the alarming rate of substandard care at many hospitals. A recent report from the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services confirms just how widespread the problem is.
The Department of Health and Human Services is the primary government agency charged with protecting the health of all Americans. The report was designed to estimate the incidence of “adverse events” for hospitalized Medicare patients. For purposes of the report, an “adverse event” was defined as harm to a patient as a result of medical care. The report looked at a random sampling of Medicare patients hospitalized in October of 2008 and found that 13.5% of the patients had experienced an adverse event during the course of their stay. This projected to a mind-boggling 134,000 Medicare patients injured during the one month study period. An estimated 1.5% of the patients experienced an adverse event that contributed to their death, which projects to 15,000 patients during the single month. The most disturbing finding of the report: 44% of the adverse events were clearly or likely preventable.
Preventable medical errors remain a serious and challenging problem. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact an experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorney.