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Articles Posted in Hospital Negligence

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Only one Manhattan acute care hospital obtained a Top A grade in the Spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades: the NYC Health Hospitals –  Metropolitan in East Harlem.

Most of the others, NYU Langone Medical Center, NYC Health + Hospitals / Bellevue, Mount Sinai West, New York-Presbyterian , Northwell Health System – Lenox Hill Hospital, The Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC Health + Hospitals – Harlem and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s all obtained a C. Mount Sinai Beth Israel had the worst Manhattan score with a D on a scale of A for the best to F for the worst.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades is a nationwide bi-annual rating that focuses on acute care hospital errors, accidents, injuries and infections that collectively are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Based on the data provided by the report here is what we found for Manhattan hospitals.

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New technology, new medication and new treatments can help patients but can also be confusing to the staff and lead to medical malpractice.  Every new year brings new challenges for hospitals and doctors.  The ECRI institute just published its top 10 hospital watch list for 2018:

  1. addiction appNew prescription phone apps that help with addiction

    Last year the FDA approved reSET®, a prescription app for patients with substance-use disorders.  Relying on cognitive-behavioral therapy, the app interacts with the patient  to find out if the patient was using, to rate the patient’s craving and to rate his or her feeling. After a few weeks the app is able to turn the data into messages for the patient such as “your urge to do drugs might increase when you feel lonely”. Patients better understand what triggers their urge and doctors can use results for face to face meetings. This app was approved after the FDA found out in a 12 week trial that patients using the app stayed away from their addiction problem for much longer than those who din’t use the app.  However the app didn’t show positive results for opiate addicts and therefore the FDA didn’t approve it for patients who used opiates. The manufacturer is working on a separate app for opiate use and is running trials.

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Bronx Lebanon covering fro medical malpracticesNew York orthopedic surgeon Ira Kirshenbaum was sued 10 times for medical malpractice and 4 of his patients died after undergoing surgery with him. This hasn’t stop Bronx-Lebanon Hospital to keep him as the head of orthopedic surgery since 2008 and to pay him $1 million-a-year and additional bonuses since that time.

Bronx-Lebabanon treats mostly poor patients on Medicaid and executives seem more concerned by the hefty bonuses they receive every year than by patient care. Hospital executives don’t seem to be too concerned if patients die after surgery or if they come out of  the hospital with one leg shorter than the other.

When they hired Kirshenbaum, Bronx-Lebanon executives main concern was how much additional money they could put in their pocket.  By hiring Kirschenbaum the hospital would increase the number of hip and knee replacements which are very lucrative procedures.

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pregnancyEvery year 700 to 900 mothers are dying from health complications during their pregnancy, during the child-birth or post partum.  According to a recent article written by Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas for Pro Publica little is known about the circumstances of these deaths except that 60% of them could have been prevented. Often hospitals concentrate on the baby but forget about the mother’s health.  Mothers too can suffer and die from birth injuries.

When such a tragedy hits a family, the grief and sometimes the guilt is so intense that members of the family are reluctant to share their story. The death circumstances are often kept private and not mentioned in the obituary. Medical institutions  have never been a trusted source of information when it comes to deaths related to health complications of their own patients especially if medical malpractice is suspected. Additionally, official statistics on maternal fatalities are so poorly reported by states that the United States hasn’t reported an official maternal mortality rate since 2007 according to a recent study published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In an effort to try to put a face and a name on these 700 to 900 mothers who died in 2016, Nina Martin and Alessandra Freitas decided to launch a major investigation. They hoped that they would gather enough information about the circumstances of these mothers’ death to be able to get picture of  who these women were and why they died. They spent months searching social media and various other sources to identify these mothers. So far they have found 120 of them.

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A patient who has to be readmitted to an hospital may have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital or the clinicians. When a patient is discharged too early or with not enough support not only may his or her condition worsen but also the health costs related to his or her readmission can be significant. Additionally,  hospital and doctors can be liable if the patient was negligently discharged.

Patients with chronic disease such as diabetes, COPD and congestive heart failure are among those who have the highest risk of being readmitted. Chronic diseases affect 1 out of 2 adults in the US and are responsible for 86% of healthcare spending. They also rank among the top 10 causes of death in thew US.

Recent studies have demonstrated that hospital who are using remote patient monitoring (RPM) can significantly reduce the readmission rate of chronic disease patients. RMP allows patients to collect samples and answer questionnaires about their personal health from home. Data is then transmitted to the doctors who can analyse them and follow up in real time with their patients.

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Patient safetyAs healthcare providers implement new technologies and therapies every year, they also create unanticipated risks of medical malpractice. The ECRI Institute just published a report highlighting their main patient safety concerns. Below is a list of the top 10 medical situations where patients have the highest risk to be harmed in 2017.

  1. Management of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

    Here are some of the most common risks related to EHR:

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Hospital watch list 2017As healthcare evolves so does medical malpractice. The ECRI Institute just published its 2017 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List. Here are the top 10 issues and technical challenges faced by hospitals in 2017.

  1. LIQUID BIOPSIES

    Liquid biopsies are tests using patients liquids such as patients’ blood, urine or plasma rather than tissues. They are easier, cheaper and less risky than needle or surgical biopsy of tissues. Mostly used for patients with cancer, these types of biopsies are the new trend but they are so new that their reliability  is still questionable.Hospitals using these tests need to set up a solid genetic test clinical utilization process to  mitigate diagnosis error.

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Kingsbrook Jewish Medical CenterA patient died at a NYC hospital ward after the hospital failed in its duty to protect him. A 77 year old patient at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, was attacked last week by 65 year old Larry Hammond, another patient. The man was beaten in the head and suffered critical injury. He died five days later from his injuries. The hospital only contacted the police one day after the attack. Read more in the NY Daily News

New York hospitals are responsible for the health and the well being of their patients. They are licensed and regulated by Federal and State law and have to follow strict policies and procedures.  If a hospital fails to protect a patient, the hospital can be liable for the injury or the death of the patient. Read more about it on our Hospital Negligence page.

 

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Patient checked by doctorDischarging a patient too early can be hospital negligence that puts a patient at higher risk of readmission or death. An alarming new study shows that 1 out of 5 patients is released from the hospital before his vital signs are stable. The study released in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was conducted by Dr. Oanh Nguyen (Assistant Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Science), Dr. Anil Makam  (Assistant Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Science) and Dr. Ethan A. Halm (Professor Internal Medicine Department of Clinical Sciences and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine), all from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center.

Vital signs include:

  • temperature
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Richmont University Medical CenterAn NYPD officer almost died after being assaulted by a violent patient in a New York City hospital. The rookie officer was guarding a patient at Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island. The patient, Dante Martin who had been arrested earlier asked to use the bathroom. After, the officer uncuffed him, Martin pushed her to the ground and went for her gun. The police officer was saved by Rafael Muniz, another patient who helped subdue the suspect.

The NYPD have specific procedures for patients in police custody. They are now investigating the assault.

Read more in the NY Daily News