Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Consumer Reports ranks hospital care and safety

According to a Consumer Reports' ranking of hospital safety throughout the United States, at least one Pennsylvania hospital was mentioned for its exemplary care. Lancaster General Hospital had what was called the best readmission rate of all hospitals - meaning that readmission to a hospital was not required due to doctor errors or to poor care.

This hospital's low readmission rate carries over into the treatment of heart failure as well as other maladies being treated. It is believed that the hospital's success in this field has been due primarily to its network of primary doctor, and what it refers to as a team approach to hospital care.

Though no Pennsylvania hospital was singled out for poor hospital care, other hospitals across the country did not fare so well in the ratings. In hospitals rated in the bottom ten of the ranking system, poor sanitation was a factor mentioned in at least a few instances. One hospital had a hole in an operating wall, had rusty surgical tools stored away, and had a lab refrigerator considered so dirty that the possibility of contamination of specimens and a spread of infection was present.

Some hospitals listed low in the ranking mentioned staff being unresponsive to the needs of patients. In one hospital, after an emergency room doctor declined to provide care for an unresponsive woman, the woman was later transferred to another hospital where she was pronounced dead. Still other hospitals failed to report adverse events that occurred at the facility.

If you or a loved one is injured due to a medical mistake, it would be in your best interest to at least speak to an attorney that understands how medical malpractice occurs. Obviously, such errors should not be permitted to exist. Medical malpractice comes in many forms, but often it results from sloppy practices and a failure to have procedures in place that will prevent errors from occurring.

Source: Consumer Reports, "How Safe is your hospital?" August 2012

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