Is your local hospital safe? Consumer reports weighs in with this scatheing report.
Many of us are bound to be hospitalized at least once in our lives. Are you aware that Medical Harm is thought to be one of the three leading causes of death in this country? Imagine visiting the hospital for a simple procedure and never leaving. While some hospitals have great image marketing, not enough is known about which hospitals are the safest. In NJ, where most of us live, Deborah Heart and Lung scored the highest with a level of 62, while local hospitals Robert Wood Johnson Scored on a 49 and Somerset scored 31 and JFK, one of the area’s leading hospitals only scored 29 out of a possible 100 points for safety.
For many of us reading this, that is quite scary. Most of us know someone who visited the hospital and never left because of infection, mishap, or for unknown reasons. Since there is obviously not a level playing field for information on where to go, and since many of us have doctors who are linked in with certain hospitals, where to go is a difficult decision.
Over time, the noise raised by consumer reports and their August 2012 article will eventually result in more oversight. Hospitals with the lower numbers will be forced to take a hard look at themselves and their procedures because the public, or at least those who have done the research will use it to go elsewhere if they can afford to do so. Image advertizing cannot overcome easy to research data supplied by Consumers Union, one of the most widely read and trusted consumer magazines.
Check this article out. To get the entire list of hospitals they reviewed state by state, buy the August 2012 Consumer reports or visit Consumerreports.org.
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Infections, surgical mistakes, and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,000 hospital patients a year, according to projections based on a 2010 report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Another 1.4 million are seriously hurt by their hospital care. And those figures apply only to Medicare patients. What happens to other people is less clear because most hospital errors go unreported and hospitals report on only a fraction of things that can go wrong.
“There is an epidemic of health-care harm,” says Rosemary Gibson, a patient-safety advocate and author. More than 2.25 million Americans will probably die from medical harm in this decade, she says. “That’s like wiping out the entire populations of North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It’s a man-made disaster.”
Some hospitals have responded to the crisis with safety initiatives such as electronic prescribing to help prevent drug errors and checklists to prevent infections, with some success. Rates of central-line bloodstream infections, for example, have dropped by 32 percent since 2008, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But more needs to be done. “Hospitals haven’t given safety the attention it deserves,” says Peter Pronovost, M.D., senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Nor has the government, he says. “Medical harm is probably one of the three leading causes of death in the U.S., but the government doesn’t adequately track it as it does deaths from automobiles, plane crashes, and cancer. It’s appalling.”