The recently released Hospital Safety Score by the Leapfrog Group ranks hospitals on 28 factors, including how often hospital employees wash their hands. A number of Florida hospitals in the most recent score system ranked “A” on an “A” to “D” scale. Florida Hospital Lake Placid, NCH Healthcare System, Baptist Health South Florida Baptist Hospital of Miami, Raulerson Hospital of Okeechobee, Florida Hospital Wauchula, Fawcett Memorial, and Florida Hospital Heartland all received “A” rankings. Overall, Florida hospitals ranked eleventh in the country.
Some hospitals are not ranked in the study. For example, Highlands Regional Medical Center has been ranked is a Joint Commission accredited facility but is not ranked by Leapfrog Group. Some hospitals are also too small and are not ranked for that reason. Other hospitals received low rankings from the Leapfrog Group but high ratings elsewhere. Lee Memorial, for example, had its hospitals graded from B to D but noted that another organization, Healthgrades, named Lee Memorial one of the top 50 hospital systems in the country this year.
Medical malpractice cases in Miami and other cities are a real concern – as are medical errors. Patients enter hospitals for treatments, birth, testing, and to get better. It can be upsetting to find that preventable errors lead to complications, injuries, and even fatalities.
Safety experts agree that there are many things that patients can do to improve their chances of a positive outcome when they visit a hospital – even if they live in an area with hospitals that have lower ratings:
1) Check hospitals ratings. You can visit leapfroggroup.org and other sites online to see surveys and rankings of hospitals. You may wish to check for specific risks. For example, if you are heading to the hospital for surgery, check to see what the rate of surgical error is at the Miami hospital you are considering.
2) Choose hospitals where you can. Of course, in some cases you may have an emergency and be taken to the nearest hospital. In many cases, you can ask your doctor for their opinion about the best hospitals for your specific needs. For example, if you are expecting you may wish to ask for recommendations for hospitals with low numbers of birth injuries in Miami or your community.
3) Ask questions and confirm information. Even if you go to a top-ranked hospital, errors and problems can still occur. If you have a question or concern, speak up. One of the big problems with hospitals is that many people will be responsible for your care and not all of them will be familiar with your case. For this reason, you may wish to confirm allergies, medication and dosages, and other details with each new person handing you medication or helping you with treatment.
4) Take a friend with you when you need to go to the hospital. If you are too injured to be able to take notes, provide information, or ask questions, your friend can assist.
5) Avoid visiting the hospital at times when medical mistakes are most likely to happen. Mistakes and errors may be more likely at night and on weekends (especially holiday weekends) when there is a smaller number of staff on hand.
Have you been injured in a hospital? You can contact Flaxman Law Group at any time to arrange a free, no obligation case review to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.