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Hospitals take proactive approach to malpractice lawsuits

Errors made by doctors or hospitals in New Mexico and around the country lead to approximately 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits being filed each year. Physicians and medical facilities risk being ordered to pay substantial damages, and malpractice lawsuits could also damage reputations that have taken years or decades to build. Medication mistakes and unnecessary surgeries cause about 19,000 patient deaths every year, and some hospitals are trying to improve patient safety by implementing additional safety protocols.

One measure that hospitals may take to reduce operating room errors involves calling in an independent party to speak with patients after they have undergone a surgical procedure. Patients may be more forthcoming about their experiences when speaking to somebody not directly affiliated with the hospital, and the information that they provide could be valuable if their condition were to deteriorate unexpectedly. These surveys could also reveal patterns of inadequate care or medical professionals who are prone to making errors.

Potentially dangerous drugs are kept secure in most medical facilities, and access to them is often tightly controlled. However, many hospitals are taking steps to add layers of additional oversight to prevent patient deaths caused by medication errors. Reducing fatigue among doctors and nurses is seen as a step that could greatly reduce the number of medication errors, and some hospitals are appointing individuals to tackle the problem. These individuals keep an eye on staffing levels and shift rotations to prevent tiredness among medical personnel caused by understaffing or grueling schedules.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney could explain the steps involved in pursuing this kind of litigation to those who have been harmed by a doctor's mistake or a hospital's negligence. The defendants in malpractice cases are often extremely concerned about protecting their reputations, but medical experts may be able to demonstrate negligence after a review of the patient's hospital records.

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