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Significant patient safety concerns for 2013: Part I

In 2013, new federal quality reporting mandates go into effect. This means that when facilities and providers provide excellent patient care, they will be recognized for those efforts. Similarly, facilities and providers who are regularly guilty of medical malpractice and fail to improve their processes will be penalized for their lack of progress. So where do hospitals, doctors and patients need to focus in 2013? There are several pressing patient safety concerns that everyone needs to be aware of and be working towards solutions for in the coming year.

First, patients should inquire about whether their facility uses surgical checklists before going under the knife. Checklists aim to counteract the prevalence of human error by better ensuring that critical patient safety steps are not missed during the surgical process. Failure to use checklists can lead to serious complications, wrong-site or wrong-patient procedures, infection and foreign-body mistakes. Checklists have dramatically improved the safety of air travel. Hospitals and surgeons should be employing them as well and patients should similarly insist on their use.

A second patient care "must have" is proper hand hygiene procedures. Whether healthcare providers are in the operating room, drawing blood, administering medication or simply helping patients to the bathroom, proper hand hygiene compliance is a must. Failure to maintain proper hygiene at every single point in a patient's care can lead to the otherwise preventable spread of potentially fatal disease and infection.

What are some other pressing patient safety concerns sure to be a point of focus in the American healthcare system in 2013? Please check back later this week as we continue our discussion.

Source: Becker's Clinical Quality & Infection Control, "10 Top Patient Safety Issues for ASCs and Hospitals for 2013," Rachel Fields, Dec. 27, 2012

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    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

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    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

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    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

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    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

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    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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