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Significant patient safety concerns for 2013: Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about pressing patient safety issues likely to receive a great deal of attention in the coming year. In an effort to reduce the prevalence of medical malpractice specifically and preventable medical errors generally, new reporting guidelines are going into effect in 2013. They will target patient safety in a variety of critical ways.

One way that hospitals will be looking to improve their record of patient safety is by issuing "timeouts" in their operating rooms. This phrase is meant to signify that surgeons will take a moment to verify a patient's information, surgical site and other critical information before operating. Employing this simple technique will undoubtedly save untold numbers of patients from wrong-site and wrong-patient procedures. Before going under the knife this year, patients should insist that their surgeons perform a timeout before operating.

This year, hospitals will also likely be employing debriefing techniques post-surgery at increasing rates. When surgeons and their OR teams discuss procedures in their immediate aftermath, mistakes get caught more frequently and everyone has a chance to learn how to improve their performance during similar future procedures.

In addition, hospitals and providers are increasingly required to communicate more effectively. A staggering percentage of preventable medical errors may be avoided when providers within and outside a certain facility communicate about patient care in an effective, clear manner. The ways in which providers will tackle this issue are varied, but if one single issue is changed for the better this year, the healthcare industry broadly hopes that it will be effective communication.

Too many American patients are affected each year by medical mistakes and preventable errors. 2013 will hopefully be a turning point in patient safety for the betterment of everyone.

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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