When Patient Safety Isn’t a Priority, the Outcome Can Be Devastating
Posted By Tara Worthley
When you enter a hospital for medical care, you shouldn’t have to worry about your safety — or the safety of a loved one in a healthcare setting. You trust that patient safety is a primary concern for healthcare providers and that systems are in place to ensure that patient welfare is never compromised. However, on occasion, an oversight takes place that could put you or your loved one at risk for injury, or even worse, death.
An organization called the National Quality Forum (NQF) developed a list of “serious reportable events,” also known as “never events,” that occur in healthcare. This set is a compilation of serious, largely preventable, and harmful clinical events. The National Quality Forum’s website identifies its list of “never events” to include patient-safety events.
A patient-safety never event can occur in a number of situations. For instance, discharging or releasing a patient or resident of any age who is unable to make decisions could result in harm. In addition, if the patient or resident is released to someone other than an authorized person, the proper care might not be administered and injury may occur. In addition, patient safety is compromised when surgery is performed on the wrong body part, or wrong patient, or even the wrong surgery all together. Likewise, deaths or serious injuries associated with giving the wrong medication or giving medication to the wrong person are unacceptable. Another unacceptable circumstance is when there is a failure to follow up on labs tests, and as a result, death or serious harm occurs.
The important thing to remember is that if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice and your event does not appear on the “never event” list that does not mean you do not have a medical malpractice claim. The never event list is simply a list of conduct that the NQF has deemed so egregious it should never happen. Your healthcare provider is always required to provide you with medical care that meets or exceeds the standard of care.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or death due to a lack of patient safety, consider having the incident investigated by a medical-negligence lawyer to determine whether medical negligence occurred and whether you have any rights against the healthcare provider in failing to protect the patient. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim can be a complex and involved process. The attorneys of Langer & Langer have handled all kinds of medical-malpractice claims throughout Indiana.
Feel free to contact our offices if you have further questions about Indiana’s medical malpractice laws.