Concierge medicine began in 2000, and it is available in some North Carolina cities. The largest group concierge medicine practice is MDVIP, which has about 800 physicians in 41 states. Those seeking care from MDVIP physicians pay a membership fee annually. In exchange, patients are promised quick access to their doctor and exceptional care because physicians limit their patient load to ensure adequate time for personalized care.
In a recent highly publicized example of medical error, a Dallas hospital sent home a seriously ill patient who had a travel history to areas of West Africa where the Ebola outbreak has taken thousands of lives. This serious medical error may have been caused by a flaw in the hospital's software system that did not relay the travel history to all medical personnel. These kinds of medical errors can also happen in North Carolina.
A North Carolina man was awarded $1.5 million by a jury after a surgery left him blind in one eye. An ophthalmologist and two medical practices were named in the lawsuit after an alleged drug mix-up during a cataract surgery in 2008.
An article published on August 6 in USA Today highlighted steps taken by the federal government to restrict public access to information on eight kinds of hospital mistakes, referred to as 'hospital acquired conditions" (HACs) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Leaving foreign objects in patients during surgery and air embolisms were among those eight HACs no longer being reported publicly. Until August 2014, information on those conditions was still available via a public spreadsheet offered by CMS, but that data can no longer be accessed. CMS is now reporting occurrence rates for only 13 HACs.
With drug-resistant bacteria and other safety risks becoming a bigger concern for hospitals, it is becoming increasingly more important that South Carolina patients become aware of how they can reduce the risks of infection or other complications during their hospital stay. With medical errors estimated to cause the deaths of more than 400,000 patients each year, taking several preventative steps may just save a patient's life.
A new study concerning medical errors may catch the attention of Greenville patients. According to an analysis performed by a toxicologist and published in the Journal of Patient Safety, as many as 440,000 patients die each year as the result of a hospital error. The study indicates that medical mistakes account for the third biggest cause of death in the country.
When doctors in North Carolina or across the nation make a mistake related to their field of practice, other medical professionals are often aware of it. That's because they are often the ones who need to correct the doctor error. Mistakes can include accidental punctures, removal of the wrong body part or operating on the wrong organ.
North Carolina residents anticipating surgery might not be aware of a painful error that occurs at varying rates in the nation's hospitals. During some procedures, sponges, retractors, needles and other surgical tools are left inside patients on the operating table. This error can turn an otherwise successful surgery into a dangerous case of medical malpractice. Objects left in patients are sometimes hard to detect, but they can become infected, move around inside patients and require additional surgeries to remove.
North Carolina patients may have noticed that some hospitals have made some major investments recently. The lobbies may be nicer, or they may even feature nail salons and flat-screen televisions. The one thing that hospitals are not making major investments in, however, is patient safety.
As patients in North Carolina know, medical errors are sadly common in hospitals around the country. Researchers conducting studies on medical errors hope to shed light on how many deaths are the result of medical errors every year. Over the years, different methods used to calculate the number of medical errors have resulted in very different estimates.