An article recently published in the New York Times discusses a system called "Patient Safety Indicators" or PSI. "These indicators, developed and released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2003, are intended to quanitfy harmful events in the healthcare system." More or less, if there is a negative outcome in a case at a hospital, it gets recorded and input into this database.
Doesn't this sound like a great idea?
Hospitals are supposed to follow what's called "Patient Safey Rules," which simply means that they need to follow the rules needed to keep patients safe - this could mean the use of checklists, communicating with other doctors, nurses, and staff, making sure lab results were delivered and interpreted correctly, and considering all of the available information. Too often, lack of systems and failing to follow Patient Safety Rules results in devastating medical outcomes. Too often we have heard of new mothers dying of preeclampsia because they weren't monitored properly. It makes sense there would be a level of accountability to record when hospitals fail the "patient safety" test.
One independent agency provides grades for local hospitals. Click here to find out what grades the Washington, DC area hospitals received as of fall of 2017.
It's always a good idea to be your own advocate when you go to the hospital. If you are going in for a procedure, research it ahead of time. What are the risks? What are the risk indicators? If you are going to the ER, it can be hard to get the doctors to take the time they need, or order consultations to help form a diagnosis. If at all possible, have someone there with you who can ask about what tests are being run, and make sure the results are received and interpreted.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you think there may have been medical malpractice, call us at 202-393-3320. We like to say "trust your gut:" if it looks like and feels like medical malpractice, it may be!
Get started by downloading our free ebook: "A Patient's Guide to Medical Malpractice." Then, give us a call at 202-393-3320 for a confidential, free assessment of your situation. You'll speak to a real person who wants to hear your story.