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Federal health agency report seeks to prevent medical errors

Every year the health industry pays millions of dollars out to patients for hospital negligence and doctor mistakes, but many of these events can be avoided. The sad reality is that many of these medical errors happen every day in Corinth and in other parts of the country, leaving some patients with conditions that were worse than before, new health issues, and some of these errors can even lead to a patient's death.

Many ask the question how these mistakes can be avoided. According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, it is possible for these errors to be prevented by following a suggested list of medical strategies. The strategies are simple things that hospitals and medical staff can do to protect against infections, patient falls, informed consent issues, blood clots and administering the wrong amount or wrong type of medication.

However, while the list looks simple enough, enforcing these strategies may be difficult according to one medical expert since healthcare is an ever changing industry. He pointed out that even washing one's hands can present challenges as medical staff needs to remember when and what method should be used. Even the report's lead author admits that it will require strong leadership for medical facilities to be able to implement the strategies.

What is clear is that medical facilities in Corinth and elsewhere need to put more focus on improving patient care in order to avoid mistakes that can harm the people they are supposed to take care of. If they don't, people will have no option but to file a medical malpractice claim in order to receive financial compensation for these errors. Anyone in Corinth who has been the victim of medical professional negligence may want to consider talking to an attorney.

Source: CBS 8, "Report details steps to boost patient safety," Randy Dotinga, March 5, 2013

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