Virginia Medical Malpractice: Outpatient Procedures May Be Riskier Than Hospital Stays

Scared of hospitalization?  Outpatient care may be just as scary.

More than ten years ago, researchers at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) send shockwaves through the medical community when they announced that nearly 98,000 people a year die in hospital settings.  More recently, a Harvard School of Medicine found that 18% of patients suffer some form of preventable injury during their hospital stay.  These statistics are scary, but a new study shows that out-patient care may be just as risky.
Researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College looked at medical malpractice damages awarded from 2005 to 2009.  The researchers found that more than half the damages, almost $1.3 billion, were paid to victims of outpatient malpractice. These claims were not minor.  More than two-thirds of the outpatient malpractice claims involved a major injury or death.
Why is outpatient care so dangerous?  One reason may be that many surgeries that were previously performed in hospitals are now done in an outpatient setting.   When surgery is done in a doctor's office of small surgical center, standards for cleanliness and safety may not be met.  In addition, the patient may not receive the same post-surgery observation and care - especially if the doctor is seeing many patients.   
One positive note - the researchers did note a slight decline in total malpractice claims over the period studied.  However, most of the decline occurred in hospital settings as emphasis has been placed on preventing medical mistakes and protect patient safety in hospitals. Now it's time for safety to become a priority in outpatient settings.
If you have been injured by a preventable medical mistake in Virginia, you deserve justice for your pain and suffering.  The Virginia medical malpractice attorneys at Tavss Fletcher fight to obtain compensation for medical malpractice victims who are injured in both hospital and outpatient settings.  Too discuss your Virginia or North Carolina personal injury claim with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney contact Tavss Fletcher at 757.625.1214.