Here in New Haven, we trust our doctors to provide us with the best care they are capable of. They are experts in their field, so they should be able to treat us correctly, right? While many doctors provide excellent care, a recent study shows that some doctors get it wrong from the very start.
When we think about the type of person we would want to perform a surgery on us, we probably think about someone who is smart and focused. Maybe they read a lot and have a serious, no-nonsense personality. They definitely aren't the type of person to spend an evening playing video games.
We all have an image in our head of the overworked hospital intern. Whether from watching Grey's Anatomy or from personal experience, it's a widespread notion that first-year residents are overworked and always tired. For many, this image conjures up fears of medical malpractice.
Here in New Haven, we rightfully expect that our doctors know what they are doing when we go in for routine care or a cold. If we need an operation, that trust we place in our care providers is amplified. After all, doctors have gone through years of training and practice to be able to confidently and accurately operate on a patient. Unfortunately, recent studies show that patients may have some cause for concern.
As we've talked about in past blog posts, medical errors happen way more frequently that we'd like to think. In January, we referenced a study from Johns Hopkins University that found that at least 4,000 medical mistakes occur annually. These mistakes can range from forgetting to remove a sponge from a surgical patient to performing an operation on the wrong patient. Regardless of their severity, none are good and all are threatening to the patients' well-being. So, how can we keep these mistakes out of New Haven hospitals and other medical facilities across the country?
Thousands of patients around the country every year are affected by surgical errors made by the medical professionals who are responsible for their care. For many of the people whose health has suffered because of a medical mistake, oftentimes the best -- and seemingly only -- route to achieve satisfaction is to demand compensation from the people and organizations at fault.
When people in New Haven go into the hospital and have to be treated for some kind of illness or condition that requires medication, they generally assume that they will be given the correct medication -- and if they are not, that they will be told about it. However, a new study has found that such hospital errors might happen more often than people realize -- and when they do, patients are not always told about them.
When patient safety researchers use the term "never events," they are talking about harmful and completely preventable surgical errors such as leaving a foreign object inside a patient's body or operating on the wrong part of the body altogether. While it seems unfathomable that such surgical errors take place in any situations, a new study has found that they are more common that most of us would like to believe. To make matters more troubling, the researchers admitted that their estimates are probably on the low side.
Earlier this month, the federal government issued somewhat of an ultimatum to medical care providers and the software companies that create, install and maintain their computerized patient data systems. Either come up with a system for voluntarily reporting errors and issued with electronic health records, the government said, or we will do it for you.
A new study has found that new, inexperienced surgeons may be more prone to distractions in the operating room. Needless to say, this distractibility causes surgeons to make surgical errors that result in serious harm to their patients. Although the study was small, it will hopefully spark additional research and, hopefully, meaningful change in how young surgeons receive and handle distraction while operating on patients.