Hospital Errors

Peter Spillis, Partner, Kelley | Uustal

The most reliable medical evidence we have today, supported by research from institutions like Johns Hopkins Medical Center, reflects that we’ve reached a point where medical errors have become the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. That’s right behind cancer and heart disease.

This is the result, largely, of hospitals failing under financial pressures. The hospital landscape today is dominated by very large corporations that own numerous hospitals, usually in more than one state. Those corporations are reliant almost exclusively on the payments they receive from health insurance companies for their patients.

One of the key problems is that these health insurance payments have been decreasing year over year. Hospitals get less money per patient, doctors get less money per patient, and there is less money reimbursed for tests, treatments and therapies. As a result, the pervading influence in a hospital setting today is that from the top down, there is an ethos: Do more with less. Do more with less is a tried and true business proposition, but it’s a disaster in the delivery of healthcare.

And so, what happens? If you’ve been in a hospital, you’ve seen it. Nurses are overworked. Doctors have entirely too many patients to be responsible for. Confusion reigns supreme.

Every time we question ‘Why isn’t a nurse coming to our aid?’, every time we question ‘Where is the doctor, we’ve been waiting for him for two days?’, these are all symptoms of the underlying problem - An over-taxed system, trying to do more with less. As a result, patients fall through the cracks. Complaints go ignored. Vital time is lost in emergent situations, and patients suffer. We believe that this is unacceptable, and we are committed to shining a light on these problems and to holding these companies responsible for the harm that they cause.

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