Leeseberg & Valentine

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You should receive safe and quality care in Ohio hospitals

What is the difference between safety and quality regarding medical care in an Ohio hospital? When you enter a hospital for medical treatment, examination or surgery, you can reasonably expect to receive care in accordance with accepted safety standards and the highest level of quality protocol. The two terms are not exactly synonymous but are both of paramount importance.

When medical care providers keep you safe, they are making sure no harm comes to you, especially through human error or negligence. Quality care, on the other hand, has more to do with efficient, effective care that your doctors, nurses, practitioners and other medical workers provide for a specific purpose. If you witness a safety hazard or receive substandard care, there are numerous people you'll want to inform.

Speak up because silence isn't always golden

Unless you have a background in licensed medical practice, you may have no way of knowing what your doctor or nurse or other care provider should or should not be doing at any given moment during your examination, treatment or recovery. However, some things might immediately catch your attention as not being right, in which case, you have a right to ask questions and get answers.

Time is of the essence

If you witness or experience something in the course of your hospital stay that you believe violates safety or protocol standards, it's always best to immediately report the incident. It's common for details of events to fade in your memory as time passes, so the sooner you inform the proper administrators or officials, the likelier you will be able to give a full account of what happened.

Avoid confrontations and accusations

It's logical to assume that most medical care providers want to provide high quality care and keep patients as safe as possible. However, it's also a fact that medical injuries often occur due to care provider negligence. The last you want to do is get into an argument with a nurse, doctor or other medical team member.

Rather than make accusations, it's best to request a meeting with whomever you need to speak with, then clearly, respectfully state the problem. Some situations are no doubt more urgent than others. For instance, if you noticed a nurse touching multiple patients without washing his or her hands in between, it's definitely a safety hazard. If you have suffered a surgical injury that you believe was preventable, it's a more urgent matter.

Medical error statistics

Nearly a half-million patients die every year because of medical errors. As many as one in 25 people suffer infections that were entirely preventable while staying in Ohio hospitals and others throughout the country. You might be surprised to learn that as many as 1,000 patients will likely die because of hospital error incidents on any given day.

Most hospitals have patient advocate departments. It's often less stressful to address such issues if you allow an official representative to speak on your behalf. Many people also reach out for legal support as part of their support networks when filing complaints about substandard hospital care.

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