Did you know that approximately 648,000 people in the United States develop infections during a hospital stay? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more fatalities from hospital stays and visits than car crashes…
Kind of ironic, isn’t? If we have an illness or medical problem, where do we go? The hospital, if the injury or illness is severe enough. But how can it be that hospitals seem to be more of a hazard than healthy?
Hospitals to Avoid in Florida:
And the worst part about all of it? Three of the top 12 worst hospitals in the country are right here in Florida.
- Petersburg General Hospital – Saint Petersburg
- UF Health Jacksonville – Jacksonville
- Venice Regional Bayfront Health – Venice
So why did these hospitals receive low scores? The CDC rates hospitals based on the number of reported infections and illnesses compared to the hospital’s size, number of staff members, and whether or not it is considered a “teaching” hospital.
Reasons for Unhealthy Hospitals:
With this country’s constant pressure on the health care system, how can we also be home to so many “dangerous” hospitals? And how can this number be growing?
Here are some reasons for the increase in “unhealthy” hospitals:
- Understaffed – This is probably the number one reason for the number of poor hospitals. The shortage in staff has become a serious problem. With a shortage of staff, each health care aid and/or professional needs to attend to several patients at one time, which causes a significant delay in patient response time.
- Under budgets – Additionally, most hospitals are operating under extremely tight budgets today. As a result, many cannot afford to recruit and hire good administrative and health care aids and staff nor can they afford to update their equipment or replace old, malfunctioning equipment and tools.
- Poor resources – Health care costs are skyrocketing, and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. As a result, hospitals can’t keep up, leading to a lack of staff, equipment, and other resources, which are all important to keeping patients, safe, healthy, and prevent infections and other illnesses.
Get Well Soon: Will Hospitals Ever Improve?
It’s tough to say what the future holds for our hospitals here in Florida—especially as the laws surrounding health care and Obama Care slowly take into effect. However, doctors have a lot of control over the outbreak of infections and adverse drug effects and medication errors in their own hospitals. But doctors and patients can work together to “cure” the problem:
- Ensure all staff members wear appropriate clothing—such as gowns, gloves, shoes, and masks
- Double check medications and reduce the overuse of antibiotics
- Accurately report the number of patient infections in the hospital
- Keep patients informed on outbreaks
- Adhere to federal and state health guidelines
Why is This Considered Medical Malpractice?
With so many illnesses and infections arising from these hospitals, the number of medical malpractice claims has also increased. In fact, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank, Florida ranked in the top five states for the highest medical malpractice payouts at $203,671,100. That’s enough to make you sick…
One can clearly see that medical malpractice is a real thing…and is more common than one might think! Even though you may trust your doctor or health care provider, it’s important to pay attention to the medications you are taking, the procedures performed during appointments, and even in emergency situations. Remember, doctors can mistakes, too. Be sure to always ask your doctor or nurse practitioner questions. And if you think an error was made, then ask your medical malpractice attorney.