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A Culture of Hospital Errors

Taking Responsibility for Hospital Errors

Medical malpractice cases seek compensation for damages that result from hospital errors and other medical failures. The underlying purpose of personal injury and medical malpractice law is to hold parties accountable for negligence. The law protects those who have wrongfully suffered. Ultimately, the law seeks an end to wrongful suffering by wiping out negligence altogether.

Imagine what the world would be like if doctors took responsibility for malpractice or a hospital owned up to its errors. Imagine a world where injured parties would not have to foot the bill for damages. If hospitals and medical professionals took responsibility for all aspects of their medical practice, medical malpractice lawyers would have to find other areas in which to focus their practices.

A Medical Culture of Secrecy

Unfortunately, in today’s world, many hospitals harbor a “culture of secrecy,” making it difficult for professionals to admit mistakes. That is unfortunate.

All too often hospital errors go unreported for fear of malpractice lawsuits, losing a job or simply to hide the guilt or shame associated with making an error. Yet when medical professionals report mistakes, administrations have information available for correction. They can implement programs to correct systemic failures and prevent similar errors from reoccurring.

A Shift to Transparency

Despite the culture of secrecy, some hospitals are beginning to embrace a culture of transparency. The article entitled "Hospital safety blog takes medical errors public” reveals that Brigham and Women's Hospital has taken transparency to the next level. It has published a blog about various medical errors and near-miss incidents in an effort to avoid similar future mistakes. The administration carefully selected stories that do not violate a patient's privacy and that would also provide a learning opportunity for medical professionals.

Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California has a program where they communicate with victims of medical errors and discuss what occurred with their families. They offer apologies and waive patient bills and offer financial settlements.

The Attorney’s Role

Our role as attorneys is not to bring legal action against the medical professionals who are taking responsibility for errors and compensating patients. Our role is to seek to justice on behalf of patients who have been treated unfairly. Perhaps in doing so, more hospitals will change their cultures, and this will create a better world for all of us.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has died as result of hospital error, seek legal counsel as soon as possible. At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP , we offer a free initial consultation to discuss the injury and available legal options.

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