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Hospitals That Admit Mistakes Better Protect Patients

The Las Vegas Sun continued its investigations into hospital patient safety efforts with an examination of the benefits of hospitals that admit their medical mistakes. The discussion comes on the heels of one state’s debate about a bill which would require hospitals to publicly report patient harm.

The former CEO of the Beth Israel Deconness Hosptial offers a strong endorsement of the public reporting of medial mistakes. Several years ago the CEO began blogging about the errors that occurred as a result of problematic care at his facility. His goal was that discussion about the mistakes would help ensure that errors were not repeated. Following his lead, many other area hospitals began doing to same. Now even former opponents admit that transparency in the process has led to increased accountability and more attention to patient safety.

The new chairman of the Beth Israel explained the reasons that public reporting has led to improvement, “It’s not just fear of public embarrassment. It’s an easy way to show something is a priority and is deserving of attention.”

Unfortunately only 10 states currently require open reporting of hospital errors. Illinois has inched toward more openness in this area, but information of this kind is still far from complete. It is important to continue to push legislators to do what is necessary to hold negligent Illinois doctors accountable.

Our Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti support these efforts to admit mistakes, explain the problem to the public, and work to improve overall patient care. The medical community has come too far in technology advances and professional care to hide issues of the utmost concern like the elimination of medical mistakes. The vast majority of local doctors are diligent individuals who strive every day to save lives. Public reporting works only to root out the particularly negligent Chicago doctors and improve safety for all patients.

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