Statistics regarding health care and patient harm

A person who seeks medical care is likely expecting adequate care for whatever condition he or she has. While many people get the care they need and are soon on their way, others are harmed by the very system that should help them. The statistics surrounding some of these issues are harrowing. 

Many clinicians don't feel comfortable speaking up about problems they see. Some can't get others to listen to them. In fact, 58 percent of clinicians reported feeling those things. Some statistics go much deeper. Doctors, which accounted for 84 percent of those surveyed, often observe colleagues taking dangerous shortcuts. Moreover, 88 percent of doctors say they work with people who have poor clinical judgment. Despite those shocking statistics, not even 10 percent of nurses, doctors and clinical staff confront colleagues directly about the issues noted.

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Patients in hospitals face interesting statistics of their own. Critical care patients, such as those in the ICU, are likely to experience an average of 1.7 medical errors each day they are in the critical care unit. Around 33 percent of all hospital patients suffer from preventable harm while they are in the hospital.

The Journal of Patient Safety recently reported that up to 400,000 people are killed annually because of medical errors that are preventable. Shockingly, preventable medical errors now fall behind heart disease and cancer as the leading causes of death in America.

These statistics show that it is likely that a patient in a hospital, or anyone receiving medical care, can fall victim to errors made by hospital personnel, doctors or other medical professionals. If you are one of the patients who has suffered harm, you might choose to seek compensation for that harm.

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