Medical Malpractice Could Be Avoided With Surgical Checklists

A recent study led by Eefjie de Vries and a team at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam found that medical malpractice that occured between 2004 and 2005 could have been thwarted by the use of simple checklist.

The Importance of Surgical Checklists

new jersey philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers avoid using surgical checklistSeveral hospitals in the Netherlands use a checklist called SURPASS to assure that all the proper steps have been taken before a patient goes under the knife. Steps on the list include the confirmation of vital aspects of surgery such as the operating schedule, equipment availability, and surgical site. De Vries and his team found that of all of the medical errors that occured between 2004 and 2005, 29% of them could be attributed to at least one of the steps on the checklist. Additionally, 4 of the 10 deaths caused by medical malpractice could be linked back to the checklist.

Eefjie de Vries commented on the use of the checlist, saying:

While the checklist as a whole may seem a little intimidating, the separate parts for each stage of the surgical pathway take little time to complete.

Intimidating or not, if a checklist will save lives, than it’s ludacris that such a method of prevention is not universally utilized.

Medical Malpractice in the United States

In the United States, it is estimated that 2.4% of healthcare costs, or 55 billion dollars, goes to the effects of medical errors. Also, reports have shown that tens of thousands of patients die each year in the United States due to medical malpractice and negligence.

The use of a checklist would not only save lives, but dramatically cut the spending attributed to correcting medical errors, or compensating the seriously injured.

Atul Gawande, a surgeon at the Harvard School of Public Health, has written extensively on the topic of medical malpractice prevention, and was quoted as saying:

. . . surgeons who do not use one of these checklists are endangering patients.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Surgical checklists are a simple and inexpensive way to provide additional safety to patients undergoing surgery. The fact that only a fourth of US hopsitals utilize such a simple fix is befuddling. Medical malpractice is a serious threat to patients everywhere, and medical providers should be doing everything in their power to prevent it.

If you or a loved one have suffered at the hands of a negligent medical provider, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the Mininno Law Office team earn YOU the full and fair compensation YOU deserve.