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Ohio Hospitals Fail to Earn High Ratings in Recent Patient Safety Study

While many of Ohio's major health care facilities are industry leaders, a recent Consumer Report study found that these facilities often fail to provide a high level of patient safety. Fortunately, tools like electronic medical record systems are helping improve hospital patient safety.

Consumer Reports Hospital Safety Ratings

Consumer Reports rated the nation's hospitals on important patient safety issues like hospital-acquired infections and communication with patients about prescriptions and other aspects of their care. On a 100-point scale, the highest-rated hospital scored a mediocre 72 while more than 50 percent of medical facilities rated under 50.

Unfortunately, northeast Ohio's top hospitals were among those that failed to provide proper patient safety. The Cleveland Clinic scored a 39 for patient safety in the Consumer Reports ratings, while the University Hospitals Case Medical Center scored a 31. MetroHealth Medical Center was the best of the Ohio facilities with a 43.

Despite the high response rate on the survey from Ohio hospitals, Consumer Reports was only able to analyze about 18 percent of the nation's hospitals. This is due to the fact that there is no mandated reporting requirement for hospitals and other medical facilities. However, tools to improve patient safety do exist and electronic medical reporting systems are one of the more effective ways to identify problem areas and improve patient safety.

Electronic Medical Reporting Systems Keep Patients Safer

Ohio is one of the nation's leaders in adopting electronic medical record systems. Nearly 6,000 medical providers use the systems and the state has a goal to have 10,000 practices adopt the systems by the end of the year.

Electronic medical reporting systems track a patient's care history, prescription history, allergies and doctors' notes over the course of his or her care so each care provider has access to the patient's crucial health information. Providers can even use the systems to order prescriptions or tests for the patient.

The electronic tracking systems improve patient safety and care by reducing medical errors due to incomplete charts or errors on a written prescription card. In an emergency, electronic records can be accessed and updated by ambulance personnel to make the journey from injury to recovery smoother.

Other Ways to Improve Patient Safety

In addition to implementing electronic medical reporting systems, hospitals can improve patient safety by developing systems for medication verification and reconciliation, implementing standard surgical protocols and training rapid response teams.

Medical errors affect thousands of patients every year. If you or a loved one are injured due to a medication error, hospital infection or other medical mishap, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to find out what your options are for compensation for your injury or loss.

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