When Arizona patients go to a hospital for a procedure or surgery, they expect their doctors and other health care practitioners to take care of them properly. However, there are some steps that patients can take to keep themselves as safe as possible.
The idea behind electronic health records, or EHRs, was that patient files would be more complete and easily accessible. However, the reality is that there have been a number of unexpected consequences, and their implementation may actually be reducing the quality of patient care. Issues have become so common and severe that many malpractice suits are now being filed against providers based in part on the improper use of EHRs.
As Arizona residents may have heard, a recently-published book alleges that some hospitals in the United States favor influential patients. The book claims that wealthy individuals may receive special treatment. In addition, the author postulates that being hospitalized in mid-summer may be less than advantageous and possibly risky.
Patients in Arizona might benefit from learning more about some of the documentation required for successfully bringing a medical malpractice case to court. In order to gain an accurate perspective, injured patients should be aware of which documents to collect before conferring with legal counsel. Some of the documents patients are advised to gather are those related to the claim, including any documentation received from the defendant, evidence of lost wages and invoices from the medical provider.
Residents of Arizona may be interested to learn that at least 40 patients were recently administered a wrong intravenous fluid at hospitals in seven states. Though one of the patients died thereafter and several became ill, doctors have expressed uncertainty as to whether the cause of death was the mistaken intravenous fluid or not. In response to the incident, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a reminder to health care providers warning them to carefully check fluid bag labels before use.
According to a recent analysis conducted by Kaiser Health News, Arizona is one of 13 states where at least a quarter of the hospitals showed a high infection rate for at least one type of infection tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Altogether, the CDC monitors six different categories of infections that may spread in hospitals, including infections from bladder catheters, infections from antibiotic-resistant germs and infections from flexible tubes that deliver nutrients or medicines into veins.
Arizona residents may be unaware that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has changed how it reports hospital errors. These are also known as hospital avoidable conditions or HACs. The CMS claims its new method of reporting results in greater accuracy, but patient advocates have expressed concern about individuals' abilities to access potentially important information.
Most Arizona patients trust their health care providers, whether they are doctors, surgeons, nurses and even pharmaceutical companies, to take care of all of their medical needs. However, mistakes that can cause severe injury or even death are sometimes made. If something goes wrong and a disorder or disease is not diagnosed, is misdiagnosed or is not properly treated, an injured patient may be able to file a lawsuit against those who were involved in his or her care.
On June 30, Arizona's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that hospitals and nursing homes can be found liable for abuse of vulnerable adults. The ruling involves two cases of alleged neglect in two separate Arizona hospitals. In both cases, the patient died and the suit was filed by family members who said the care that the deceased party received was in violation of the Adult Protective Services Act.