Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Checklist Reduces Medical MistakesMay 5, 2017
Every year in hospitals around the country, patients suffer injuries or die as a result of surgical errors. Many of these medical mistakes could have been prevented if the surgical team had a pre-operative system in place that could lower the risk of complications. According to research from Harvard University, hospitals in South Carolina reduced their post-surgical deaths by 22 percent by using a special safety checklist in the operating room.
The goal of the checklist is to reduce the incidence of preventable accidents, including operating on the wrong body part or leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient. The checklist instructs the surgical team to check a total of 19 items that aim to prevent injuries and save lives. For example, doctors or nurses must confirm that the patient was identified, that the surgical site was accurately identified, that the appropriate antibiotics were administered, and that all surgical instruments were counted, both before and after the procedure.
Positive Feedback from Hospitals
While some hospitals expressed initial concerns that the checklist would delay surgery and slow down the process, overall, the feedback has been positive. According to Dr. Atul Gawande, international safety advocate responsible for developing the checklist for the World Health Organization in 2008, going through the checklist takes approximately three minutes. Considering the list was modeled after a checklist that pilots use just before taking off. Moreover, completing the list is not an overly time-consuming process, yet, it is an effective one.
Gawande said that the South Carolina study offers proven evidence that the checklist works. It provides a valuable tool that surgical teams can use in the operating room that can improve safety. He hopes to see the program rolled out in hospitals across the country, and not just South Carolina.
The simple checklist addresses some of the basic safety issues that exist in most hospitals, from inefficient infection prevention to poor communication, all of which can result in serious illnesses or death. Hospitals must foster a culture that prioritizes safety, said Gawande. Incorporating the checklist as hospital policy is important, but it does not work unless it is properly and consistently used in every surgical procedure. Study findings show that this simple checklist can significantly improve communication, which can save lives.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Surgical Mistakes
If you or a loved one has been injured or become seriously ill due to a preventable medical mistake, you are urged to contact the dedicated and experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We understand the trust you put in your healthcare professional and if that trust has been compromised, the outcome can be devastating. Our qualified team will review your case and determine who is responsible for your injury. We will continue fighting for you until we obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.