Medical Errors in Emergency Rooms Force Hospitals to Take Action

Yesterday’s Wall St. Journal article concerning hospitals’ efforts to curb medical errors in their emergency rooms is an important one. Officials at the nation’s hospitals are taking a closer look at what they can due to curb unnecessary medical errors in their ERs. It’s a huge problem that costs hospitals and their insurers over $1 billion annually.
The WSJ article describes it in these terms, “Often chaotic and overcrowded, with scant data available about new patients, the emergency room is among the top hospital departments responsible for malpractice suits—and diagnostic errors account for 37% to 55% of cases in studies of closed claims. The average payments and legal expenses for ER cases have more than doubled over the past two decades, according to the Physician Insurers Association of America, a nonprofit trade association whose members cover about 60% of emergency physicians.”
It’s a recipe for disaster and high time hospital officials take action to stem the tide of medical mistakes that are preventable.