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Patients should report poor care at hospitals

Colorado residents who experience less than stellar medical care should be sure to alert hospital administrators of problems they experience. Studies done by the Harvard School of Medicine show that one in five people suffer injury during their stay in a hospital. Another study, done by Johns Hopkins University, estimates that nearly 100,000 people a year die as a result of medical care they receive. Fatalities are due to everything from wrong medications to surgical error.

If poor care and mistakes are not reported, these numbers are not liable to improve. Individuals should be sure to report problems to people in charge of medical facilities to ensure that those in charge of running the facilities are made aware of these issues. Seemingly small errors can lead to large problems, which can greatly risk people's risk of complication during their hospital stay.

Some people assume that in a day and age of harried nurses and lack of communication that poor experiences are the norm. However, it is not uncommon for those who report problems to be told by hospital administrators that hospital workers were not following protocol. Additionally, individuals who are not receiving the necessary level of care do not have to wait until they have left the hospital to report a problem. People can ask to speak with a patient advocate or a head nurse about issues they may be experiencing.

Individuals should be able to expect a high level of care from medical professionals. If someone is harmed due to a negligent doctor or nurse, they may have legal recourse. A lawyer could explain people's rights and let them know what options are available.

Source: News Sentinel, "Health Sentinel: Hospital patients should expect and ask for quality care", July 08, 2013

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