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South Florida Hospital Negligence & Safety

South Florida Hospital Negligence & Safety

South Florida Hospital Negligence & Safety 940 788 Panter, Panter & Sampedro

Hospital negligence and safety is a top concern among many South Florida residents. On May 1, 2024 the Miami Herald published an article reviewing the findings from The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog nonprofit which has analyzed hospital data for over 20 years to help patients make informed decisions about their healthcare. Twice a year, Leapfrog releases a report that grades nearly 3,000 hospitals across the United States on patient safety, using a scale from A to F. These grades are based on more than 20 factors, including rates of preventable errors, injuries, and infections. 

According to the article, while Florida overall shows strong performance in patient safety, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area has struggled, with more than half of its hospitals receiving a “C” grade. The article highlights ten South Florida hospitals that excelled with an “A” grade and contrasts them with others that received lower marks. It also discusses the reasons behind these grades and the steps hospitals are taking to improve patient safety.

Hospital Safety in Miami

The spring 2024 Leapfrog report revealed several key findings about hospital safety across the United States.

  • Improvement in Patient Experience: The report noted significant signs of improvement in patient experience, closely linked to the quality of care provided by hospitals.
  • Reduction in Preventable Infections: There has been a sustained drop in healthcare-associated infections, which had reached unprecedented levels during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • “A” Grade Hospitals in Florida: Five Florida metropolitan areas, including Orlando and Tampa, made it into the Top 25 list for having the highest percentage of “A” graded hospitals.
  • Florida Dropped in Patient Safety: Florida dropped from number 10 to number 12 in the nation for patient safety, but 75 hospitals received an “A” grade, slightly more than in the previous report.
  • In South Florida, “C” Grade is Common: In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area, more than half of the hospitals received a “C” grade, indicating significant room for improvement in patient safety and the implementation of best practices.

The report also highlighted areas where improvement is needed, particularly in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area. There were several consistent themes among hospitals that performed poorly:

  • Hospitals with lower grades often had inconsistent implementation of basic safety practices, such as hand-washing and proper use of electronic prescription systems.
  • Poorly rated hospitals typically reported higher rates of preventable medical errors, injuries, and infections, indicating a need for improved safety protocols and better staff training.
  • Lower-scoring hospitals frequently exhibited issues with staff responsiveness and communication, which are critical components of patient care and safety.
  • Some hospitals argued that their lower grades were due to outdated data points from as far back as July 2020, suggesting that current safety practices may not be accurately reflected in the report.

Top Reasons Hospitals are Found Negligent

Hospitals can be found negligent for a variety of reasons, while not exhaustive, below is an overview of common issues.

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: Failure to correctly diagnose a condition or delaying a diagnosis can lead to improper treatment or no treatment, worsening the patient’s condition.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes made during surgery, such as operating on the wrong site, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, or performing the incorrect procedure.
  • Medication Errors: Administering the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or failing to account for potential drug interactions.
  • Infections Due to Poor Hygiene Practices: Inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, improper handwashing by staff, and unclean hospital environments can lead to severe infections.
  • Inadequate Staffing: Insufficient staff can result in overworked employees, leading to mistakes and substandard patient care.

Steps to Take if an Individual Suspects Hospital Negligence

Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen, and sometimes those errors have catastrophic consequences. 

Here are four steps to take if an individual has been injured due to medical malpractice

  1. Get the medical care that you need.
  2. Reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.
  3. Preserve any evidence.
  4. Accumulate medical records. 

 

Hospital safety is a critical concern, and understanding the implications of negligence is essential for protecting patient rights. Panter, Panter & Sampedro is committed to providing resources like this one to help protect our community. 

Panter, Panter & Sampedro is experienced with complicated medical malpractice and hospital negligence lawsuits such as a case against an osteopathic orthopedic surgeon brought by David Sampedro in which the jury awarded a $11,882,175.48 verdict.

If you believe that a hospital may have been negligent with yours or a loved one’s care book your free consultation by contacting our office at (305) 662-6178.

 

Sources

  • Miami Herald. “Is Your South Florida Hospital Safe for Patients?” Miami Herald.
  • Leapfrog Group. “Hospital Safety Grade.” Leapfrog Group.
  • Florida Statutes. “Section 766.102 – Medical Negligence; Standards of Recovery.” Florida Legislature.

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