Archive for the ‘hospital’ tag

New Study Reveals Most Hospitals Don’t Follow Infection Prevention Policies

April 9th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

hospital, infection prevention, lawyer, attorney, medical malpractice, Westport, ConnecticutA new study by Columbia University School of Nursing about hospital infection prevention policies has revealed some disturbing results – most hospitals fail to follow their own policies. The price of these infections is high, costing $33 billion annually for excess medical care and killing 100,000 people in this country every year.

Researchers studied the prevention policies of over 1600 intensive care units (ICU) at almost 1,000 hospitals located across the U.S. The team was especially interested in what kind of checklists were in place to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Of all the ICUs studied, one in 10 still did not have any kind of checklist in place to help deter bloodstream infections. The study also found that one in four ICUs had no checklists to help prevent patients developing pneumonia while on a ventilator.

For those units that did have checklists in place, these safeguards were only followed half the time.

Past research has shown that the use of electronic monitoring systems and staff that are trained and have infection control certification can significantly reduce the occurrence of these infections. But only one-third of the hospitals actually had some type of electronic monitoring system in place. And more than one-third of the hospitals studied had no staff trained in infection control.

The research was led by Dr. Patricia Stone, who has been involved in considerable research about hospital and health-care infections. In a statement, Dr. Stone said, “Hospitals aren’t following the rules they put in place themselves to keep patients safe. Rules don’t keep patients from dying unless they’re enforced.”

Dr. Stone also added, “Every hospital should see this research as a call to action – it’s just unconscionable that we’re not doing every single thing we can, every day, for every patient, to avoid preventable infections.”

If you have suffered from complications caused by negligent medical care, contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

Nation’s Emergency Rooms Receive D+

April 5th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

emergency room, hospital care, medical malpractice, Connecticut malpractice lawyerThe American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recently released their 2014 Emergency Room Report Card and the grade is not good – the national results were a D+. The study found that, nationally, the emergency care environment had actually gotten worse since the last report card was issued in 2009.

Four of the categories the study measured include:

Access to Emergency Care – The national grade for this category was a D-. There are many issues that emergency care environments cannot seem to overcome, including the amount of time patients have to wait for emergency room care, shortages in on-call specialists and other healthcare workforce members, and the increasing costs for care. Twenty-one states received F’s in this category.

Quality and Safety Patient Environment – This category received a C for its overall grade. The study points out that there have been new systems and protocols introduced to improve life-saving treatment and promote better functioning emergency rooms. Ten states received F’s in this category.

Public Health and Injury Prevention – The overall national grade for this category is a C. There has been no improvement in this section since 2009. It is the one category where states can take the initiatives to be pro-active in implementing programs to help reduce the need for emergency care. An example of this cited by the ACEP would be immunization programs for children and senior citizens. Ten states received F’s in this category.

Disaster Preparedness – This category saw a slight decrease since the last report card and has fallen to a C-. The ACEP contributes this decrease to disparities in each state’s hospital systems when it comes to the capacity of the hospitals and how prepared its personnel are for disasters. Thirteen states received F’s in this category.

If you have suffered permanent disabilities because of a physician’s error or misdiagnosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain and loss. Contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what legal options you may have.

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