Obviously biased statistics published in the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. “Four of ten medical malpractice lawsuits filed in America each year are groundless and overhead costs of malpractice litigation are exorbitant. These costs, of course, are imposed on doctors, hospitals and insurers, and then ultimately passed on to health care consumers.” In addition, “the overall shortage of doctors practicing both primary care and high-risk specialties may grow to nearly 125,000 by 2025.”
Most Americans want curbs on medical malpractice lawsuits. “In this country, there are just too many people who are just out for a quick buck,” said Christine Vasquez, 67, a retiree from Clarkston, Mich. “I think our insurance costs would go way down if (doctors) didn’t have to be so scared to be sued all the time.”
Connecticut fertility doctor loses NY license after using his own sperm to artificially inseminate a patient. How was he caught? Well, it just so happened that the physician was Caucasian and the intended father was African American. So the doctor’s a weirdo who doesn’t understand genetics. Not sure which would be worse … having his baby or shaking his hand after the office visit.
Walgreens error results in young girl being given amiodarone instead of tamiflu to treat influenza. Family not sure whether there will be heart damage.
A 2003 Auburn University study on pharmacy errors estimated they will occur four times a day at pharmacies filling more than 250 prescriptions daily and that in 1,000 of those errors are a threat to patients’ health. More than 3.6 billion prescriptions were filled in the US in 2008, which adds up to the potential for a lot of errors. This is another area in which humans are expected to behave perfectly.
In other news, as a result of this incident, JCAHO has recommended banning all pharmacies as a patient safety measure.
Eighty five percent of doctors surveyed reported that the threat of malpractice litigation is hampering their ability to practice medicine properly.
Ninety two percent of physicians want medical malpractice reform. The other 8% are plaintiff experts. Many physicians also supported ending coverage refusals based on pre-existing conditions. Sixty one percent recommended allowing patients to opt out of Medicare, “a government program that underpays doctors so badly in some cases that many Medicare patients have trouble finding doctors who will see them.” Hmmmm. Insurance doesn’t equal access. Wonder where I’ve heard that before. Another interesting statistic – 62% of physicians disagree with the American Medical Association’s endorsement of President Obama’s reform proposal.
Stuck with a hepatitis patient’s bloody needle. Would you take medicine with many side effects that might lessen the chance of you getting HIV or would you forget about it? A difficult decision explained by a new ED nurse who was put in the exact situation.
More emergency department closures in CANADA … not enough doctors are willing to work in Prince Edward Island. The Kings County Memorial emergency department closure during evening hours leaves the entire county without an emergency department during overnight hours. But at least everyone has health insurance, right?
Edwin Leap is spot on. “Healthcare reform that seeks to increase access will not help if physicians aren’t accessible. Right now, in a time in which increased work can in fact result in increased money, physicians are avoiding call in droves for lifestyle reasons. Guess what will happen when their pay is cut and they are salaried? When they make the same amount of money for lots of work or little work? Are we prepared to force physicians to work under threat of punishment?” The entire article is enlightening.
Got Propofol? Conrad Murray, the doctor implicated in Michael Jackson’s death, has started practicing medicine again — at the Conrad Murray Center for Sleep Pathology … er, um … the Armstrong Medical Clinic in Houston.
See, America? Lawsuits improve patient safety. Attorney Michael Bryant, president of the Minnesota Association for Justice goes on record as saying “Right now the estimates are that 98,000 people die each year in this country due to medical errors. If you make it harder to bring those cases to court, I don’t see how you’re going to save more lives – you’re going to kill more people.”
In other news, JCAHO and Gerry Spence have both demanded that plaintiff attorneys begin running hospitals as a patient safety measure.