December 23, 2012

It was announced on December 18, 2012 that hospitals in Minnesota that are participating in the so-called Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network have prevented more than 3,200 re-admissions to the participating hospitals, have prevented 463 patients from experiencing a fall while in the participating hospitals, and have experienced 158 fewer patients who developed a pressure ulcer while in those hospitals. These reductions in adverse hospital events have no doubt resulted in the hospitals experiencing less exposure to medical malpractice claims alleging negligent medical care resulting in patients’ injuries.

The 26 hospital networks throughout the United States that are participating in the efforts to reduce health care-acquired conditions by identifying solutions so that other hospitals and other health care providers may also benefit from their efforts have two specified goals: to reduce hospital-acquired conditions by 40% and to reduce preventable hospital re-admissions by 20% by 2013.

The 104 Minnesota hospitals participating in the network are focusing on what have been determined to be the top hospital-acquired conditions (defined as specific conditions that a patient acquires while an inpatient and that can be reasonably prevented) that are often the bases for hospital medical malpractice claims. Hospital-acquired conditions include: (1) adverse drug events; (2) health care-associated infections (catheter-associated urinary tract infections, central-line-associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia); (3) injuries from falls and immobility; (4) obstetrical adverse events; (5) pressure ulcers; (6) preventable re-admissions; and (7) venous thromboembolism.

The Minnesota Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network reported an almost 32% improvement in the incidence of hospital patient falls since 2010; a 45% reduction in the incidence of patients’ pressure ulcers since 2010; 3,200 fewer readmissions to the hospital since 2009; and, 94% of patients receiving appropriate venous thromboembolism preventative treatments within 48 hours.


While injuries due to medical negligence in hospitals continue to be a problem for hospitals throughout the United States, it is in the self-interest of all hospitals as well as in their patients’ best interest that conditions that are the common bases for hospital medical malpractice claims be identified and effective efforts to reduce the incidence of hospital malpractice injuries be implemented.

We applaud the efforts of hospitals in Minnesota and throughout the United States that have aggressively committed themselves to improving the treatment and care that patients visiting their facilities have a right to expect — no one enters a hospital believing that they will leave in worse condition than when they arrived and no one expects to acquire other medical conditions as a result of their hospital stay.

For the most part, hospital patients have little, if any, ability to reduce their own exposure to conditions and situations they come in contact with while they are hospitalized. Patients have little ability to evaluate whether the specific care and treatment that they are receiving in the hospital is appropriate, effective, or timely. Patients often do not know the right questions to ask or if the answers they receive are correct and complete.  Hospitals must make every effort to reduce their patients’ exposure to unnecessary harms while they are  in the hospital.

If you, a family member, or a friend were injured as a result of hospital negligence or you are the victim of a hospital-acquired condition that has caused serious injuries or other harms, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney to learn about your rights and to protect you and your family from the losses you sustained.

Click here to visit our website or telephone us on our toll-free line (800-295-3959) to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in Minnesota or in your state who may be able to assist you with your hospital malpractice (medical malpractice) claim.

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