Date:February 17, 2014
If your doctor wants to admit you to a hospital for a needed medical procedure, would you refuse? Probably not. But consider this: a recently published study estimates that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable medical errors, roughly equivalent to 365 jumbo jet disasters.
That puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Refusing care is not an option for most, but you should know how patient safety can help you survive a hospital stay. For information on your local hospital’s safety rating, go to http://www.leapfroggroup.org/
What you Can Do
while providers and policymakers debate how to address the “epidemic of patient harm in hospitals” as reported in Patient Safety, what can you do to protect yourself and those you love from health care errors? Plenty, according to the Joint Commission, starting with awareness and a willingness to SPEAK UP: