Oregon patients put all their trust into a hospital the minute they walk into its doors. Most people have very limited medical knowledge and rely on the hospital to provide the absolute best care available. Unfortunately, hospitals often fail to live up to these expectations -- errors are made, and people get hurt. In fact, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services claims that in 2010 up to one in seven Medicare patients were subject to some sort of medical error during a hospital stay including infections and being given incorrect medications.
However, following these errors, experts say doctors and hospitals are more willing than ever to admit that a mistake has been made and apologize for it. There has been a change in the medical community in recent years that makes them more open about admitting mistakes and talking to families how a mistake could have been prevented. Some states are even requiring doctors to admit mistakes to patients and their families within a certain period of time.
While doctors and hospitals might be more inclined to apologize than ever before, this apology might be too little, too late for many Oregon patients. An apology cannot pay for the pain, medical bills or lost wages associated with hospital negligence. In the end, the patients and their families are stuck with the damage. However, even after a hospital has apologized, families should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This lawsuit can help families cover the expense that a doctor's error causes. It can give families the financial peace of mind they need to focus on moving forward from the incident. Families should understand that an apology is not binding and does not mean the hospital is not responsible for its actions.
Source: BDN Maine, "Medical errors tough to admit, but doctors should apologize to patients," Manoj Jain, May 28, 2013