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Congress reportedly should act to reduce medical malpractice

Medical malpractice happens across the United States. In Washington, D.C., this isn't taken lightly, and there have been talks about ways to prevent and track harm to patients, preventable deaths and injuries in hospitals. It's claimed that these injuries and deaths will continue to take place unless Congress steps up and takes action to require stricter safety standards.

Some safety experts believe that Congress could step in and give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wider responsibility. That would allow the CDC to take part in the measurement of medical mistakes, hopefully to reduce them.

Studies have shown that medication errors, injuries due to drugs and adverse drug events can happen in up to 25 percent of patients with 30 days of the prescription of a drug, according to the news. One doctor and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that he doesn't believe patients are any better protected now than they were 15 years ago; he doesn't think unsafe medical care can continue to take place.

A study recently completed states that there are over 1,000 preventable deaths per day from medical malpractice. The study says that there may be as many as 400,000 deaths each year due to preventable harm in hospitals alone. The man behind the study has suggested that the United States should have a National Patient Safety Board, which would be similar to the National Transportation Safety Board in that it would monitor the safety of all patients in medical settings. The NTSB investigates traffic dangers and injuries.

With these changes, it's hoped that medical care will improve, since more people will be held accountable and have higher standards of care to meet. Congress has not yet made the decision to act.

Source: PS MAG, "We Need to Start Tracking Patient Harm and Medical Mistakes Now" Marshall Allen, Jul. 23, 2014

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