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Report: Patients harmed during hospital stay

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Albany/HV: Report: Patients harmed during hospital stay
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In 1999, the first in a series of a studies was released about errors by medical providers leading to thousands of deaths. In this edition of Healthy Living, YNN's Katie Gibas shares some reaction.

Most people do not want to hear about errors in relation to your medical care. In 1999, a series of studied documented errors by medial providers that lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths.

"There are things called never events like taking off the wrong leg, giving the wrong blood type and they almost never happen. But they should never happen. And then there are other things where doctors just don't follow the standard of care," said George Annas, Boston University Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights Department Chairman. "Physicians are very upset. Of course they always are. They think the big problem is malpractice litigation and they would be more open about medical errors if they didn't get sued every time they said they did something."

Experts say even though the series is more than a decade old, the issue is still prevalent.
According to the 2012 "Best Care at a lower cost" report, one-third of patients report being harmed during their hospital stay.

Almost half of the patients are dissatisfied with their level of control in medical decision making.

Annas said, "The data supports people wanting apologies. Mostly that's what they want. If people are hurt badly, they still want recompense, somebody to pay their medical bills. They don't want pay medical bills for things that didn't help them."

However, there has been movement to address the problem. The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act created penalties for hospital readmission and invested $10 billion over ten years to test innovative ways to deliver quality health care.

"I'd like to see a much more open system. I'd like to see people who are guilty of real malpractice actually punished. But mostly, I'd like to see patients recompensed. And ultimately, I'd like to see the incidence of malpractice go down," said Annas.

Many experts have suggested hospital board members should even spend time in hospitals both as patients and shadowing those who work there to get a grasp on the problem.

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