Friday, August 20, 2010

The Price We Pay

The Cost of Preventable Medical Errors

Would you be comfortable using a hospital knowing that 32 people died in hospitals from your state from preventable medical errors? We do it all the time. The only difference is in Oregon is that you can see the numbers.

Unfortunately, that’s all we are, numbers. In Oregon the number being reported to the public should be a demand for accountability. 32 people died but how many people feel the impact? That’s a number not being reported. The parents, children, friends and community left behind.

What about the financial loss to businesses? If half of those people held jobs for more than 10 years, they now have to be replaced. New employees mean training new people. These 32 people are no longer paying life insurance, but instead collecting it. The payout from one insurance company to 32 people in one year just from preventable medical errors can be devastating! You don't have to be a highly paid researcher to come up with some numbers to build a case. But no one is looking at these numbers….

We know that every preventable medical injury is tragic but we really don’t have all the numbers. If 32 are being reported, how many hospitals are not reporting?

Are there things the public could do to have helped prevent any of these 32 deaths? And how about the many injuries associated with medical care? As usual I bring many questions and often don’t have the answers accept to educate and inform the patient and their close community to help avoid these outcomes.

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