Too many patients are injured in hospitals, where safety standards are often below those in other industries. In fact, more than 1,000 Americans die each day from preventable hospital errors, according to The Leapfrog Group, an organization that collects and reports hospital data and gives hospitals a grade of A to F for patient safety.
These ratings make a difference. Hospitals given a B rating by Leapfrog had a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death than A hospitals; C hospitals had a 35 percent higher risk; and the risk in D and F hospitals was 50 percent higher.
Recently, Leapfrog has come out with new safety grades for hospitals across the country, including Pennsylvania, grading hospitals on how well they prevent accidents and errors. Examining them can help you find the hospital where you are least likely to suffer mishaps such as getting an infection or the wrong medication or dose, being allowed to fall while groggy, having a surgical tool left inside, or receiving substandard discharge instructions – all of which can be a cause of hospital malpractice.
Leapfrog has its drawbacks. It needs to be understood that Leapfrog gets its data directly from hospitals. Therefore, Leapfrog information is only as good as what the hospitals give to Leapfrog. Leapfrog is not a government institution, and there is no requirement that hospitals provide Leapfrog anything. There is no watchdog over Leapfrog. There is nothing that can be done if hospitals do not provide correct, accurate and honest information to Leapfrog.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to negligent or faulty medical care and safety at a hospital, you should seek legal representation to determine whether you can be compensated for your loss. However, due to the complexity and issues involving medical malpractice, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an attorney experienced in hospital malpractice.
Perhaps a better indication of preventable medical errors comes from Pennsylvania’s Patient Safety Authority, an organization in which Cliff Rieders was instrumental in starting. Cliff Rieders was President of the Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania when the Pennsylvania legislature created the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Cliff Rieders would not agree to any change in the legal system that made it more difficult to bring medical liability cases because in Pennsylvania there was no Patient Safety Authority. The Institute of Medicine had recommended patient safety authorities, but none were created until the one in Pennsylvania was enacted. The first patient safety authority in the nation was created in Pennsylvania due to the work of Cliff Rieders. Cliff then served as a Senate-appointee on the Patient Safety Authority for over 15 years.
In the most recent reporting period, the Patient Safety Authority received almost one-third of one million reports of serious events and incidents during a 12-month period. At the same time this is happening the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts says that 1,400-1,500 cases have been filed. Therefore, very few people sue for bad medical care in Pennsylvania.
The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania hospital medical malpractice attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to malpractice by medical professionals and hospitals. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation.
We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your case and determine how we can help, so contact us online or call our offices to set up your free consultation.
What the Hospital Grades Mean
In giving hospitals a safety grade, Leapfrog looks at medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections at hospitals, examining both hospital safety and quality. Safety involves lack of harm, avoiding bad events, and making mistakes less likely. Quality has to do with efficient, effective, purposeful care that gets the job done at the right time, doing things well, and improving the overall care experience.
How Do Pennsylvania Hospitals Rate?
Pennsylvania ranked 14th in the country for hospitals receiving an A, with about 38 percent attaining that mark, slightly better than the national average of 32 percent. Of the Pennsylvania hospitals which submitted enough information, 50 received an A; 27 received a B; 47 received a C; nine received a D; and none received an F.
The following are the grades for Harrisburg region hospitals, some outside the region, and some of Pennsylvania’s best-known hospitals:
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center — A
St. Joseph’s Medical Center — A
UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster – D
UPMC Pinnacle Lititz — A
UPMC Pinnacle West Shore Hospital — A
UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg Hospital — A
UPMC York Memorial (formerly York Memorial Hospital) — C
UPMC Pinnacle Community Osteopathic — A
UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle — A
UPMC Pinnacle Hanover — A
WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital — C
WellSpan York Hospital — C
Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital — C
Chambersburg Hospital — A
WellSpan Gettysburg Hospital — C
WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital — C
Geisinger Medical Center, main hospital in Danville — A
Geisinger Lewistown Hospital — A
Reading Hospital — A
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital — A
UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside — B
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania — B
Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest — A
The Johns Hopkins Hospital — A
The following Pennsylvania hospitals received a D:
Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park — D
Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia — D
Lehigh Valley Hospital Schuylkill Medical Center — D
Somerset Hospital – D
St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten Campus — D
St Luke’s Palmerton Campus — D
UPMC Hanover — D
UPMC Lancaster – D
Hospitals Are Held to Standards
Hospitals are required to uphold proper standards of care for their patients and must …
- Use reasonable care in the maintenance of safe and adequate facilities and equipment.
- Select and retain only competent physicians.
- Oversee all persons who practice medicine within their walls as to patient care.
- Formulate, adopt and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for their patients.
Again, keep in mind that Leapfrog is an organization that essentially is working for the corporate environment and, in particular, insurance companies. The Leapfrog information comes from hospitals, and hospitals are not required to provide anything to Leapfrog, let alone honest and accurate information. Information that comes from Medicare (CMS) in states such as Pennsylvania and New York may be a much better indication of patient safety than anything that comes from Leapfrog. The problem with patient safety in the United States is that there are no real foolproof reporting systems and there is a lack of benchmarks as to what the standard should be. For example, in Pennsylvania Act 52 governs infections in hospitals. Certain benchmarks were established the first year the system came into being, but has anybody heard about whether hospitals are better or worse than those benchmarks first established? The issue has largely fallen silent in Pennsylvania.
There is still a tremendous amount to be done in the patient safety movement.
Trust Our Firm for Honest Answers
If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a hospital’s negligent safety practices, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical and rehabilitative costs, lost wages, and loss of life’s pleasures. However, medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules, and your case must be handled properly, or you may never receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, the experienced Pennsylvania hospital medical malpractice attorneys of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in experience while providing top-notch personal service.
Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years. Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania. Cliff Rieders wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified Specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center. Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.
Do not delay. Contact us online or call our offices today to set up your free consultation.