Why Are Medical Mistakes More Common In Smaller Hospitals?

Posted on May 25, 2015 by Shapiro Law Group


An analysis of national hospitals by US News & World Report argues that smaller hospitals present a greater risk of injury or death to patients during surgery.

According to the analysis, patients face greater risk at smaller hospitals because healthcare practitioners might lack the experience for specific procedures.

In one example provided by the report, a smaller hospital in Colorado had a death rate for hip and knee replacement surgeries at 24 times the national average. Knee replacement patients who attend small volume hospitals are 70 percent more likely to die than ones who are treated at larger institutions. These examples are not an anomaly, and further investigation revealed that 11,000 deaths between 2010 and 2012 might have been prevented if patients had been treated at larger hospitals.

The survey by US News & World Report was created to build a new foundation for rating hospitals. Ratings are partially based on injuries or deaths during certain procedures, such as a hip replacement or bypass surgery.

In addition to cases where patients die, smaller hospitals were also more likely to see repeat visits from patients. According to the research, patients came back for further complications stemming from their surgery mistakes.

What are my Options if I’m Injured in a Hospital?

Patients should expect a reasonable standard of care when visiting a hospital. When healthcare practitioners are negligent in the treatment of patients, family members of the patients might have legal options.

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