Mistakes happen within any profession, but people entering healthcare settings in Pennsylvania face risks that most industries would consider unacceptable. A survey of people with serious health problems revealed that 25 percent of them had experienced harm from significant medical errors. Healthcare mistakes have been identified as an ongoing and lethal problem within the medical industry. Researchers estimate that medical errors form the third leading cause of death nationwide. One study in 2016 concluded that over 250,000 preventable patient deaths occurred every year.
Avoidable errors drive up the costs of inpatient care and increase expenses for employers by approximately $8,000 per hospital admission. A health policy journal presented a researcher who said that a lack of transparency impeded improvements in patient safety. He said that healthcare professionals rarely admitted to mistakes. Silence regarding medical mistakes coupled with antiquated reporting systems reduced the ability of researchers to track errors and develop solutions that protected patients from harm.
Medication and diagnostic errors affect millions of people. In any given year, 12 million patients might experience a diagnostic error, and serious health consequences afflict one-third of them as a result.
When medical professionals fail to meet accepted standards of care, a person harmed by a mistake might have trouble getting straight answers from a doctor or medical facility. Speaking to an attorney may help a person gain information about how to file a medical complaint or pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney may be able to arrange for an independent review of medical records that might produce evidence of medical negligence. With legal support, a person may make informed decisions when considering a settlement offer. Depending on the case, an attorney might recommend accepting an offer or taking the case to trial.