People in Cleveland go to their doctors expecting that they will receive proper care and treatment. When they go to the hospital, they expect to walk out healthier than when they went in. Sadly, medical errors can leave people with serious complications. For instance, a surgical error may require an individual to undergo additional procedures.
In order to prevent future mistakes from happening, the federal government wants to hear from consumers when medical errors occur. There is currently no system in place for consumers to report medical mistakes. The Obama Administration hopes to change that by creating an online reporting system in which patients and their relatives could report medical errors. Phone interviews would also be conducted.
If approved, officials hope to begin collecting information in May. The information would be kept confidential and would be collected on a voluntary basis.
Many medical mistakes are not reported. However, many people are harmed every year because of an error made by a doctor or other medical professional. Federal officials believe that patients and their family members could provide the government with a wealth of knowledge that could prevent potentially life-threatening mistakes from happening again down the road.
Although the federal government is trying to do their part to keep patients safe, people who believe they have been the victim of medical malpractice may wish to hold a medical professional responsible for their error through a civil lawsuit. In addition to alleviating financial burdens, it may serve as an example that medical negligence will not be tolerated.
Source: New York Times, “New System for Patients to Report Medical Mistakes,” Robert Pear, Sept. 22, 2012