People in Massachusetts who need to seek medical care should always be able to trust that they will receive the attention that they deserve. This includes attention to detail so as to prevent any errors and injuries from resulting. However, sadly this does not always happen. Hospitals should always have plans for how to handle adverse events, especially knowing that they can and do.

A report has recently been issued that gives a glimpse into hospital compliance rates for having plans in place for what the industry deems to be the most serious of errors. These are referred to as “never events” because they are so harmful and bad that they should never be allowed to happen. Even worse, it has been discovered that 20 percent of the country’s hospitals have no developed procedures or plans for how to handle these events.

While Massachusetts actually has a 100 percent compliance rate for these never events, none of its neighboring states do. Maine and Washington are the only other states with 100 percent compliance. Examples of never events include errors with drugs that lead to death, leaving items inside patients after surgeries, operating on the wrong parts or locations and patient falls that cause serious injuries.

Massachusetts residents should always be proactive and ask questions when receiving care or helping family members in need of care. Talking to an attorney may also be helpful if an error is suspected as this can offer a view into how best to seek compensation.

 

Source: Fierce Healthcare, “One in 5 hospitals fall short on ‘never events’,” Zach Budryk, June 9, 2016