Articles Posted in Surgical Complications

A recent study highlighted the improving areas of medical care in the United States. Released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the study tracked seven main criteria related to healthcare between 2000 and 2014 – person-centered care, patient safety, healthy living, effective treatment, care coordination, and affordable care.

Here is the breakdown on how America’s healthcare system changed according to each of the metrics:

  1. Person-Centered Care. The study defined “person-centered care” as whether or not a patient achieves their healthcare outcomes, not merely whether a disease has been effectively treated or managed. Overall, the trend for this metric has markedly improved since 2000. A full 83 percent of patients who had visited a doctor in the last 12 months reported improvement in person-centered care. Perhaps as important, none of the patients indicated their care “worsened” on this metric during the fourteen-year period.
  1. Patient Safety. Keeping a patient safe while in a hospital or doctor’s office also saw an improvement during the study. Overall 66 percent of patients reported an improvement in this metric, which reflects broader trends of data available in this area. Between 2008 to 2014, the number of infections related to a central venous catheter dropped from 1.9 per 1,000 patients to 0.67 per 1,0000. Similar improvements in patients receiving hip joint replacement surgeries. In 2009 a full 16.4 percent of Americans undergoing this notoriously tricky procedure reported “adverse effects”, a number that dropped to 9.8 percent by 2014.

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One of the highest-paid surgeons in the United States was hit with two lawsuits alleging that the doctor was not performing his own surgeries.  According to the lawsuit, Dr. David Samadi, the head urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, routinely allowed medical residents, who are still in training, and other doctors to perform the surgeries. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Samadi may have left up to 1,000 of his patients in the hands of another, less-skilled doctor or resident.

According to Dr. Samadi, the surgeon was merely “double-booking” his surgeries, a controversial practice where the surgeon is not present for an entire surgery. Instead, he or she “delegates” portions or sections of the surgery to another medical professional. According to an analysis of hospital records, Dr. Samadi has performed 2,182 urologic surgeries since began working at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2013. A full 70 percent of these surgeries overlapped with another surgery. The New York Post reports that on a single day in 2014, the doctor “performed” eleven surgeries, and all but one overlapped. Continue reading

Medical errors are gaining more attention as a whopping one-fifth of Americans admit to having personally experienced one. At the same time, Johns Hopkins University has released a new study that reports medical errors may be the third highest cause of death in America. With America’s healthcare industry continuing to reshape itself, healthcare advocates worry that unintentional harm caused to patients may not be receiving enough attention.

med-errorIn a survey of over 2,500 Americans by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation, most Americans reported generally positive experiences with the healthcare system. However, a full 21 percent reported that they had personally experienced a medical error. According to the survey, the most common errors were related to a person’s diagnosis and were most common in an outpatient care. Continue reading

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