Why are hospital errors still so common?

It is normally considered atrocious to let something as self-serving as profit margins determine matters in anything that could influence the welfare of the public. However, according The Modern Voice, money seems to sum up the reality of what America has decided will influence the practice of medicine.

According to critics, President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is to blame for medicine’s problems. Since its approval in 2010, 20 million more Americans now have access to healthcare, making it difficult for doctors and hospitals to handle the sudden influx of patients. Such increases in patient rates are said to cause medical errors such as misdiagnoses, incorrect dispensing of medications, and even unnecessary amputations.

Our personal injury attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP have the legal experience and technical know-how needed to provide our clients in Massachusetts with legal assistance in cases such a wrongful death, hospital negligence, and surgical errors, among others. Call our offices today at (617) 426-4488 to learn more about our services.

One in five hospitals unprepared for ‘never events’

According to a new report released by the healthcare nonprofit The Leapfrog Group, 20% of hospitals in the United States do not have adequate safety policies for “never events,” which are medical errors that should never happen to a patient. Occurrences that can be characterized as never events include wrong-site surgeries, objects that remain inside the bodies of patients after surgery, deaths from medication errors, and deaths or serious injuries from falls, among others.

Leapfrog president and CEO Leah Binder argues that the least hospitals can do if they expose their patients to such harm is to ensure that they have a comprehensive policy to mitigate the negative effects of the errors. Binder also says never events should not happen to begin with, noting, “Never events are egregious and they truly should never happen, but at the very least if they do happen, we expect hospitals to take the most humane and ethical approach.”

The medical malpractice lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP provide legal services for clients in the state of Massachusetts who have been the victim of a negligent or reckless medical practitioner. If you have a medical malpractice suit to file, call our offices at (617) 426-4488 to discuss your legal options.

Study finds ‘rich doctors’ are subject of fewer malpractice lawsuits

A recent study conducted among medical practitioners has shown that doctors and physicians who choose to spend more money on higher quality equipment and medical facilities are less likely to become the target of medical malpractice lawsuits.

The study’s authors analyzed data and interviewed physicians in order to draw its conclusions. One doctor, Anupam Jena, from a hospital in Massachusetts, discussed the concept of defensive medicine. She explained that physicians who are willing to invest in nicer equipment deal with fewer technical mistakes. Her explanation is apparently corroborated by findings of the study, which stated that doctors who do not invest extra money in equipment face a 50% higher risk of malpractice lawsuit.

At Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, our Massachusetts legal team represents clients who have been the victim of medical practitioners whose actions can be considered negligent. Often, these patients are faced with additional medical issues as a result of the mistakes made by their doctors. If you have suffered at the hands of a medical professional who failed to uphold an acceptable standard of care, contact our attorneys by calling (617) 426-4488 today.

Medical diagnoses often wrong in the United States

A new report issued by the Institute of Medicine showed that there was a prevalence of medical diagnosis errors in the United States because health care providers pay little attention to them.

According to IOM chairman and member of the American College of Physicians, Dr. John Ball, “patients are central to a solution”, meaning this situation could be remedied if health providers – lab workers, doctors, and nurses – make patients part of their team. Ball believes health care providers should listen to patients more attentively when they complain about feeling different than they are supposed to feel after an operation or after ingesting medication prescribed to them. Providers should also give patients a copy of their test results immediately.

For her part, National Quality Forum president Dr. Christine Cassel said should there be an instance when after consulting three doctors, the third doctor made the right diagnosis – different from the diagnosis of the two previous doctors – the third doctor should not be embarrassed to pick up a phone and tell the other two doctors, “It turned out that the patient had X and not Y”.

Our attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP in Massachusetts want our clients to know that we have a vast experience when it comes to handling medical malpractice cases and that we will give our 100% so that our clients’; can have a favorable resolution to their case. Call our offices today at (617) 426-4488.

Harvard study surveys Massachusetts residents on medical errors

According to a poll recently published by the Harvard School of Public Health, 23% of respondents had been personally involved in a situation wherein they or a loved one or close relative suffered from a preventable medical error, according to an article published on Lexology.

The most common form of medical error was the misdiagnosis of a condition, and half of the cases in which those surveyed responded affirmatively involved serious injury as a result. 54% of those who experienced medical negligence reported the incident, primarily to prevent a similar error from occurring in the future.

Aside from who actually experienced malpractice, the vast majority of respondents valued transparency. 90% of those polled said healthcare professionals and facilities should be required to report medical errors and inform patients if any mistakes were made, while 94% of the respondents said the number and type of errors made should become public knowledge.

The attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, represent those who have been injured due to the medical mistakes of a negligent practitioner or facility. Call our offices at (617) 426-4488 today to learn more about holding these responsible parties fully accountable for any damages.

Hospitals may have to pay when outsourced doctors are negligent

A Massachusetts judge recently ruled in Beauregard v Peebles that a hospital can be held responsible for the medical mistakes of a physician who is classified as an independent contractor, the Legal Laser reported on March 2.

A patient who underwent surgery at a private hospital Metrowest Medical Center in Framingham and Natick became paralyzed after a doctor at the hospital gave her anesthesia, inserting it directly into her spine before the surgery to manage the level of pain she would feel while under surgery. Although the doctor was not classified as an employee, his title was Chief of Anesthesia, he wore a coat with his name and the hospital’s name on it, and the form the patient signed did not indicate that he was an independent contractor.

Many hospital have begun hiring doctors and other staff on a contract basis to limit their liability, but this can seriously limit a medical malpractice victim’s options for recourse.

The Massachusetts attorneys of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, passionately represent medical negligence victims and may work on your behalf for the funds you need to recover. Call our offices at (617) 426-4488 today to learn more.

Study sheds light on public’s perception of medical malpractice

A new report released by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health provided a look into how the citizens of Massachusetts perceive medical malpractice in their state.

Some key issues discussed in the fall 2014 study included:

  • What were residents’ recent experience with medical malpractice?
  • Did they report these safety concerns if there were any?
  • Did they feel like they were adequately informed about past medical malpractice cases brought against hospitals or medical professionals?

State data shows that approximately 25% of adults in Massachusetts have fallen victim to medical errors in the past five years; half of these cases resulted in serious consequences. Additionally, only about half of those who experienced medical errors reported it. It is also important to note that respondents overwhelmingly reported that they feel like more transparency is needed regarding wrongdoing or negligence in the medical field.

Our attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP are committed to serving the legal needs of injured victims in Massachusetts due to the medical errors of their respective health care providers or physicians. Call our offices today at (617) 426-4488 to discuss your case with us.

Pharmacy owners arrested for deadly outbreak in Boston

Fourteen people have been arrested and charged in relation to the distribution of tainted drugs by New England Compounding Center Inc., which resulted in the death of dozens, The Boston Globe reported on December 17.

The defendants, who were facing a 131-count indictment which included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, introducing adulterated drugs into national commerce, criminal contempt, and mail fraud, were scheduled to make their initial appearances in the U.S. District Court in Boston, federal officials said.

Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery said that of the 14 people indicted, 11 were arrested by the police and three turned themselves over to the authorities.

Under the indictment filed in federal court, NECC and Medical Sales Management, Inc., which provided NECC with sales and administrative services, were considered a criminal “enterprise” based on the Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations or RICO law.

Medical corporations and companies can easily afford skilled lawyers and other legal resources to represent and defend them in medical malpractice cases. You should have the same ammunition. Call our attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, in Massachusetts at (617) 426-4488 today for legal assistance.

Resolution programs enacted at Massachusetts hospitals

CARe is a new system enacted by two Massachusetts hospitals to encourage greater resolution between medical malpractice victims who want closure and the medical facilities that may have made a mistake, New England Public Radio reported on October 2.

Previously, hospitals would deny and allegations of medical malpractice and aggressively defend against them. However, this prevents families from getting closure and also stops hospitals from improving. Baystate Health and Beth Israel Deaconess are spearheading the program to make it possible for patients to know the truth about their case and what will be done to prevent future occurrences of error.

The program is entitled CARe, which stands for communication, apology, and resolution. After reviewing 100 cases, Baystate administrators found six they believe deserved an apology and further resolution. In some cases, compensation was included, although how much and to whom was not disclosed.

The Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, understand the devastation that can result from a medical error or medical negligence. We are dedicated to fighting for financial compensation on behalf of medical malpractice victims, and we may be able to help you. Call our offices at (617) 426-4488 today to learn how we may advocate for you.

Woman dies in second recent case of medical error at Tufts

Brothers Michael and Stephen Carcerano filed a lawsuit during the third week of August against Boston, Massachusetts-based Tufts Medical Center in the Suffolk Superior Court for the death of their mother.

Caroline Carcerano came to Tufts in November 2013 for a procedure to relieve pain from a back injury. Doctors injected the wrong dye into her spine, and she woke up from the procedure suffering from pain and seizures.

She died a day after her hospital visit. Her back injuries were an offshoot of a fall in her Watertown apartment during the summer of 2013, causing her to break several vertebrae.

The neurosurgeon who applied the injection, Dr. Steven Hwang, immediately admitted his wrongdoing, saying, “We gave her the wrong dye.”

Tufts Medical Center offered to settle and implemented new safety regulations in light of this and another recent, unrelated medical error at their facility.

All of us at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP would like to extend our thoughts and condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the Carcerano family during this tragic time.