10 Things You Need to Know about Hospitals

What you need to know about hospitals in Indiana to ensure your safety during your next hospital stay.

It’s important to be a well-informed consumer of health care services. If you are proactive in choosing a hospital for elective surgery or any non-emergency procedure, you can feel more confident in the care you will receive and reduce your chances of being a victim of a medical error. We’ve compiled a list of 10 facts you should keep in mind if you are planning a hospital visit.

The Indianapolis hospital malpractice attorneys at Baker & Gilchrist are concerned about the quality of care you receive when admitted to a hospital and the prevalence of avoidable medical errors. We help families whose loved ones have been injured during hospital visits in Indiana.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by what you suspect was a medical error at a hospital, talk to a knowledgeable Indiana malpractice lawyer. Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.

Indiana Malpractice Attorney’s List of 10 Hospitals Facts to Consider

  1. Experience Counts –

    What hospital best suits your needs? Choose an Indiana hospital where many patients have had the surgery or procedure that you will undergo. Research shows that hospitals that perform a procedure frequently generally have better outcomes, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

  2. Hospital Report Card – 

    The state of Indiana produces a hospital consumer report, allowing consumers to evaluate and compare the quality of hospitals within the state. Click here for hospital consumer reports. The report includes number of complaints filed against the hospital, deficiencies cited and size of staff.

  3. Hospital Safety Score – 

    The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit run by employers and larger purchasers of health insurance, has computed safety scores for individual hospitals for 2012 based on data such as patient injuries, medication errors and infections. If you have an option, choose an Indiana hospital with a low-level rate of infection. Of the 2,652 general hospitals that received safety scores, 1,243 hospitals earn a grade of “C” or below.

  4. Drug List –

    Before a hospital admission, make sure all your doctors know about all the medications that you are taking, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements and vitamins. Get clear instructions on whether you should keep taking the medicines you are on before your hospital visit.

  5. Predisposition to Blood Clots – 

    Blood clots can lead to stroke. If you’re going in for surgery, be aware of your predisposition to form blood clots and inform the doctors and hospital staff so that steps can be taken to prevent them.

  6. Indiana Hospitals – 

    Health care facilities in Indiana reported 114 medical errors in 2014 such as wrong operations, medication errors, and patient injuries or deaths caused by contaminated drugs or devices, according to the Indiana Medical Error Report. Of those, 102 medical errors occurred in hospitals. Be diligent on your own behalf, confirming your procedure, your medications and other personal information.

  7. Medication Errors – 

    They are among the most common hospital errors. According to a 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine, a hospital patient can expect to be subjected to more than one medication error a day where all types of errors are considered. Medication errors in hospitals are common at every step in the process, from procuring medications, to prescribing it, to dispensing it, to monitoring its impact. Hospitals that have switched to electronic medical records report fewer prescription and dosage errors.

  8. Aging Issues –

    Elderly patients account for a significant portion of emergency department visits. Nearly a fourth of elderly patients were assessed as less critically ill than they actually were, according to a 2012 report by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Make sure all current problems are reported and give the healthcare providers a good health history.

  9. Personal Advocate – 

    Enlist a friend or relative to accompany you and be your advocate. They can help you remember to ask questions and assist in decision-making when faced with hard choices. Medications may sedate you or impair your thinking. The medical staff are supposed to be looking after you, but they’re usually busy. It’s a good idea to have someone who is an advocate for you.

  10. What’s Next? – 

    When you are being discharged from the hospital, ask the doctor to explain the treatment plan you should follow at home. This should include any medicines you’ll be taking and how quickly you can resume normal activities. Make sure the information is written down so you can check it over as needed.

Contact a Indiana Hospital Malpractice Lawyer in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis hospital malpractice attorneys at Baker & Gilchrist help families whose loved ones have been injured during hospital visits in Indiana.

With over 60 years of combined litigation experience, Rex Baker and Caroline A. Gilchrist have the knowledge and skill to hold accountable hospitals that have harmed patients.

Call us today or use our online contact form to have us review your case free of charge.