The Syracuse Post Standard ran an Article this weekend titled, "The stats the hospital industry doesn't want you to know". The article talked about a recent Medicare study revealing that patients in Syracuse area hospitals often get worse, instead of better, because they become victims of preventable "hospital-acquired conditions" ("HAC"), which consist of such things as patient falls, infections, foreign objects being left in patients after surgery, bedsores, poor blood sugar control for diabetes, and wrong blood transfusions. The statistics are alarming: In an 18-month period between 2008 and 2010, our local hospitals had 175 cases of Medicare patients developing "hospital-acquired conditions".
All this may surprise some, but it does not come as a surprise to Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers like those at Michaels & Smolak. We have successfully sued several local hospitals for these types of failures.
Here are some examples of our local hospitals' failures during the Medicare-reported time period: Upstate Hospital had 5 times the national average of blood infections from catheters; St. Joseph's had the 5 times the national rate of urinary tract infections; and there were five cases of foreign objects being left in patients after surgery -- two at Crouse Hospital, two at Upstate and one at St. Joe's.
All this is pretty damn unacceptable. But not as unacceptable as the hospital industry objecting to Medicare's publishing this data on its website. Medicare published the stats despite the objections.
Why did they object? Are they afraid patients will vote with their feet? The only way Syracuse hospitals will improve is if their feet are put to the fire of open disclosure (thank you Medicare investigators) and good reporting (thank you Syracuse Post Standard). As I have said before, shame is a powerful motivator of improvement.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.