Medical Errors Third Largest Killer of US Adults

Medical Errors Third Largest Killer of US Adults

Medical errors may be the third largest killer of adults in America, according to a recent study from John Hopkins University. While previous studies have indicated that people living in Utah generally experience fewer of these deaths than many other parts of the country, even one death is too many. These errors generally fall into one of three general categories.

Lack of Communication

Communication errors are present on many different levels. Sometimes, doctors and physician assistants do not receive the information that they need when prescribing medicine. Other times, patients are not told how to take their medicine or fail to understand the directions. Communication of test result is another area where medical errors often exist.

Human Error

Many different types of human error can occur. One nursing home was cited by the state more than 17 times for giving the wrong medicine to a resident in their care. One study shows that hospital admissions because of human error was almost three percent, and that of those patients almost 52 percent passed away in Utah. Nationally, up to $29 billion is spent for healthcare because of human error. In fact, the federal government has cited eight hospitals in Utah as having the highest rate of human error in the nation.

Inadequate Staffing

Many healthcare facilities cannot find enough qualified individuals to fill minimum staffing at nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The frustration of constant under staffing not only leads to human error, but it can lead to patient abuse. In fact, according to the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, up to 30 percent of nursing homes have one or more patients being abused. Abuse may also occur when healthcare facilities place profit over the needs of patients. Additionally, quite often, no one wants to take responsibility for a job, so it never gets completed.

When problems happen within the medical community, they are sometimes ignored until a serious accident occurs. People living in Utah have several resources at their disposal to see how their healthcare providers and facilities are performing. Medicare.gov provides ratings for nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, hospitals and dialysis facilities.

If you or your loved one has been injured by a healthcare facility or provider, then you deserve action. Contact Utah malpractice lawyer Rex B Bushman to start the process today.