Avoiding Medical Malpractice

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Avoiding Medical Malpractice

Based on 1984 data developed from reviews of medical records of patients treated in New York hospitals, the Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. An updated estimate developed from modern studies published from 2008 to 2011 estimated that the true number of premature deaths associated with preventable harm to patients is more than 400,000 per year. The epidemic of patient harm in hospitals must be taken more seriously if it is to be curtailed. A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care A recent study of just a sample of Pennsylvania hospitals found that hospital-acquired infections in that state alone are taking a staggering toll on patients and the cost of health care, resulting in nearly 3500 additional deaths, increased costs of $5.3 billion, and 550,000 additional days spent in the hospital by patients contracting largely preventable infections. Hospital-Acquired Infections In Pennsylvania – Data Reporting Period: 2006 & 2007 A little knowledge about your healthcare provider and your health can go a long way in reducing your risk of becoming a victim of medical malpractice and, hopefully, reduce the chance that you will ever require our services. What follows is information and resources that Galligan & Reid, P.C. believes will help you find quality health care and understand your injury or condition.


Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care – Developed by Agency for Health Care Policy and Research to help you make health care decisions using information about quality. The Guide is based on research about the information people want and need when choosing health plans, doctors, treatments, hospitals, and long-term care. These are the major decisions most people face at one time or another during their lives-either for themselves or for a loved one.

Iowa Board of Medicine – The Iowa Board of Medicine safeguards the public health, safety and welfare by regulating physicians and surgeons, osteopathic physicians and surgeons and licensed acupuncturists. Find licensing details, including public disciplinary action or sanctions taken by the Iowa Board of Medicine.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) – Search to determine if your doctor is board certified. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a not-for-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty boards, is the pre-eminent entity overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS’ mission has been to maintain and improve the quality of medical care by assisting its Member Boards in developing and implementing educational and professional standards to evaluate and certify physician specialists. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare accreditation organizations as a primary equivalent source of board certification data on medical specialists for credentialing purposes.

American Medical Association – Doctor Finder – Provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States, including some 690,000 doctors. AMA member physician listings offer additional information such as office hours, accepted insurance providers, educational history and other helpful information.

American Osteopathic Association (AOA) – Doctor Finder – Member association representing more than 56,000 osteopathic physicians (D.O.s). Serves as the primary certifying body for D.O.s, and is the accrediting agency for all osteopathic medical colleges and health care facilities. Search for D.O.’s nationwide at.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) – Independent, not-for-profit organization, established more than 50 years ago. JCAHO is governed by a board that includes physicians, nurses, and consumers. Sets the standards by which health care quality is measured in America and around the world. Evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 15,000 health care organizations. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations must have an extensive on-site review by a team of JCAHO health care professionals, at least once every three years. The purpose of the review is to evaluate the organization’s performance in areas that affect your care. Accreditation may then be awarded based on how well the organizations met JCAHO standards.

Iowa Medical Society (IMS) – Doctor Finder – Service that will help you locate Iowa physicians. This site will allow you to search for an IMS member physician by specialty, location and gender.

Health Grades – Independent healthcare ratings organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Find quality ratings of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 16,000 nursing homes as well as in-depth profiles of the nation’s 650,000 physicians.


Five Steps to Safer Health Care – This fact sheet tells what you can do to get safer health care. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association.

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors – Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury. A recent report estimates that as many as 400,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of medical errors. This means that more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. Government agencies, purchasers of group health care, and health care providers are working together to make the U.S. health care system safer for patients and the public. This fact sheet tells what you can do.

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children – Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury. Rates of medication errors and adverse drug events for hospitalized children are comparable to rates for hospitalized adults. However, the rate for potential adverse drug events is up to three times higher in children, and substantially higher still for babies in neonatal intensive care units. This fact sheet is intended to help parents help their children avoid medical errors.

Quick Tips-When Talking with Your Doctor- Research has shown that patients who have good relationships with their doctors tend to be more satisfied with their care-and to have better results. Here are some tips to help you and your doctor become partners in improving your health care.

Your Medicine: Be Smart. Be Safe. – You can learn more about how to take medicines safely by reading this guide. It answers common questions about getting and taking medicines and has handy forms that will help you keep track of information. Keep this guide with your medicines in case you have any questions, concerns, or worries. Use the Wallet Card (PDF File) at the end.

Know Your Injury/Illness

Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.com/

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) – http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/index.html

National Institutes of Health – MedlinePlus – http://health.nih.gov/

WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/

PDR Health – http://www.pdrhealth.com/ – A wide range of e-solutions, publications, drug databases, and communications vehicles to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, and managed-care organizations.

healthfinder® – Provides a gateway to reliable consumer health information from the Federal Government and other organizations.

Resources for surgical safety

Help Avoid Mistakes in Your Surgery (.pdf file) – JCAHO


Partner with Physician for Best Surgical Outcome – AAOS


Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before You Have Surgery – AHRQ


Resources for Safe Medication Use

FDA’s Tips for Taking Medicines – FDA


Preventing Medicine Mishaps – CHIC


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