Every year, patients in Pennsylvania hospitals are injured and killed because of preventable doctor errors and hospital infections. It has been estimated that more than 400,000 people around the country die each year from negligent hospital treatment. Although hospitals are responsible for the safety of their patients, patients can do some things to protect themselves before and during their hospital stay.
In an emergency situation, a patient usually can't choose which hospital they get admitted to. However, a person who is going to a hospital for a scheduled procedure can look at hospital safety scores and infection rates online. After finding a hospital with a good score, a person can check to see if their health insurance provider covers that hospital.
There are several things patients can do to improve their medical care during a hospital stay. Bringing another person along is a good way for them to ensure that they have a health advocate even when they are physically or mentally incapacitated. It is also important for patients to ask hospital staff which doctor is coordinating their care so that they know which doctor to speak with when they have important questions. If a health care worker enters a patient's room and does not wash their hands, the patient can lower their chances of contracting an infection like MRSA by asking the health care worker to do so.
A patient who has been injured by hospital negligence or a hospital infection has the right to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. An attorney may be able to help a patient to gather evidence from their medical records and expert testimony to demonstrate a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care.