We have all heard scary stories in the news about people becoming seriously ill or even dying because of a medical mistake. For example, a doctor could misdiagnose a serious medical condition, a patient could be given the wrong medication or a surgeon could leave an instrument inside a person's body. People in Indianapolis hope that the health care professionals they visit do their jobs competently and that they won't be the victim of medical malpractice. However, one study has found that hospitals with low ratings from the non-profit Leapfrog Group see higher instances of avoidable deaths.
The study analyzed approximately 2,600 hospitals in the nation since 2016. The study found that approximately 160,000 individuals lose their lives due to avoidable medical mistakes as reflected in the non-profit's grades. However, the good news is that this is fewer deaths than the group found earlier; previous numbers indicated there were around 205,000 deaths due to avoidable medical mistakes. The lowest rated hospitals in Indiana according to the Leapfrog Group were St. Joseph Hospital of Fort Wayne and La Porte Hospital, both of which received a "D" grade.
Patients have reported receiving poor medical care that led to a worsened condition in low-rated hospitals. Unfortunately, patients may not know that a hospital has a poor rating until after they have received substandard care there. In emergency situations, people may simply be concerned about getting themselves or a loved one to the emergency room as soon as possible -- researching a hospital's rating may not be a priority when someone's life is on the line.
Ultimately, when it comes to medical malpractice, health care professionals and hospitals have a duty of care. If the health care professional or hospital deviates from the acceptable standard of care, and this deviation causes the patient to be harmed, then the health care professional or hospital may face liability. In the end, medical malpractice claims can be complex, and this post cannot replace the advice of an attorney. Those who want to learn more about medical malpractice claims can seek the legal guidance they need to better understand this issue.