Source: "Is Better Patient Safety Associated with Less Malpractice Activity?" A study funded in part by medical malpractice insurance companies.
The enforcement of civil negligence laws improves the safety of everyone, just like enforcing criminal laws deters certain criminal behavior, enforcing standards of care in the medical field and civil consequences for medical negligence leads to improved patient safety for everyone. I think people need to keep that in mind when attacking victims and the lawyers that represent them when we sue for medical negligence. The civil justice system plays and intricate role in improving patient safety for everyone, one of the greatest motivations to do something right is financial gain or loss; hospitals, doctors, and the corporations that own and employ them are no different.
Fewer violations of patient safety rules and preventable medical errors lead to fewer lawsuits. "[A] county that experienced 10 fewer safety events in a given year would also expect to see a reduction of 3.7 malpractice claims during the same year[.]", Amelia Haviland, a statistician for the study. If patient safety is improved there are less malpractice related injuries and death, and therefore less lawsuits.
Preventable medical errors and malpractice lawsuits have a correlation. Patient safety is promoted by medical malpractice lawsuits, at least in part, as that is our system; to enforce the standards of care for healthcare providers and when they violate those standards of care when they make poor choices, they should be held responsible through the civil justice system. More importantly, the victims need to be made whole.
As an example, earlier this year our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers settled a case for a client who suffered a brain injury at an Illinois hospital as the result of being neglected by the hospital nursing staff. The patient was left unattended in a hallway for a very long time while he was a known risk for vomiting and choking, and while left unattended he choked, cutting off his air supply a resulting in a brain injury. A brain injury that was easily preventable had he been cared for appropriately and not left unattended in a hallway. As a result of the lawsuit, the hospital instituted new policies and training for their nurses about patient transportation between departments, to make sure the needless injury that happened to our client does not happen again. That means the future patients of that hospital will be safer and receive a higher quality of care.
If you or your family believe you have experienced a preventable medical error, call the personal injury lawyers at our law firm for a free discussion about your case and your legal options. Call (314) 863-0500 or contact a Missouri & Illinois malpractice lawyer online.
Related Medical Malpractice Articles:
"Preventable Medical Errors": A Leading Cause of Death in the United States, According to the Institute of Medicine