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Family member input affects reports of hospital errors

Having a child in the hospital is a traumatic experience for Illinois parents and other family members. Most children's stays are uneventful and patients are released to complete their recoveries at home. However, there are instances when hospital errors are made and patients suffer as a result of the hospital's negligence. Recent research shows that many errors are not documented in hospital records, but have been identified by the parents of the patients.

The parents of hospitalized children were surveyed and asked specifically about adverse events and mistakes. Some examples include adverse reactions to medication or treatment, safety concerns and quality issues. The doctors and nurses who cared for the children were also surveyed, and medical records and incident reports were reviewed. Data showed that the overall rates for adverse events and errors were significantly higher with family members reports.

The study also cited the unreliability of hospital incident reports. When families reported errors or adverse events, the rates were much higher than what was reflected in the incident reports. One of the lead study authors strongly recommends that family members should be including in hospital safety reporting. He believes that families are instrumental in identifying situations that medical personnel may miss.

When a child has been injured because of hospital errors, many parents seek the advice of an Illinois medical malpractice attorney. An experienced lawyer can help parents determine if they should file a claim to help them cover the expenses of a hospital stay, ongoing treatment and other damages. Having a strong legal team can help families achieve a successful outcome in their lawsuit.

Source: Reuters, "Family-reported errors may go undocumented on hospital records", Lisa Rapaport, Feb. 27. 2017

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