Steps to reducing patient risk throughout the hospital stay experience

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Medical Malpractice trial attorneys Cirignani Heller & Harman asked the question “are patients at risk during Chicago hospital stays?” in an article posted on their blog. The answer to the posed question was alarmingly yes.

According to the post, most hospitals do not regularly report errors because “medical error reports are not mandatory, unless the patient is injured or dies, and by them, the harm is done.” This does not imply, however, that all patients are receiving optimal care during their hospital stays.

Robert Pearl, M.D., a weekly contributor for Forbes, brought to light several things hospitals could change to minimize unreported patient suffering and improve the overall hospital experience in a recent article called “4 Ways Hospitals Can Harm You.” Here are a few practices that could help:

• Caregivers should monitor doses of sedatives and narcotics, as they are often linked to patient falls.
• Patients should be encouraged to move around to prevent atrophied muscles, pressure ulcers, and joint stiffness.
• Enforcing surface sterilization and staff hand-washing policies can dramatically reduce the amount of infections in patients caused by bacterial contamination
• The psychological wellbeing of hospital patients can be improved by encouraging regular sleep patterns, limiting noise levels, and maintaining a regular diet.