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Death from preventable harm to patients still a major concern

With the continual advances made in the science and health care arena, many patients might assume that safety is better than ever in hospitals. Not so, one authority claims. In order to help improve patient safety and avoid a patient’s inevitable death, he believes that reform is needed. One of his suggestions includes implementing a monitoring system for patient care.

Patients in New Jersey might be unaware that the third most common cause of patient deaths in America is preventable patient harm. Additionally, a professor from a neighboring state asserts that the previous 15 years have not improved patient safety at all. He even cited studies that revealed a quarter of all patients prescribed a new medication reported some type of problem within the first 30 days of use. This includes anything from an adverse reaction to other medication errors.

According to him, the measure of harm to patients is not accurately being measured, and in an effort to help curb some 400,000 preventable deaths that occur yearly in America’s hospitals, he has recently urged lawmakers push for a change. If he is successful, the Centers for Disease Control could begin to track and collect statistics on preventable patient harm. He believes that once proper data is collected, healthcare providers will be able to better treat their patients while causing less harm.

While there have been recent pushes to improve patient safety, the implications from any changes may not take effect immediately, and in the meantime, some New Jersey patients may still be subjected to otherwise preventable harm. At times, this can cause serious injury, such as an adverse reaction to a medication or even a botched surgery, while on other occasions more drastic harm can even result in death. If an individual has suffered preventable harm from a healthcare provider or hospital, it is possible to pursue a claim for financial recourse for related medical bills and pain and suffering through the litigation of a medical malpractice claim.

Source: tpr.org, "Health Safety Experts Call For Public Reporting Of Medical Harms", Marshall Allen, July 18, 2014

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Alan D. Bell
650 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 105
Bloomfield, NJ 07003

Phone: 973-233-4291
Phone: 973-743-7070

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