A widespread culture of silence among healthcare workers enables medical errors to go unchallenged in Illinois and throughout the country. A report produced by VitalSmarts and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses revealed that over half of the nurses, doctors, clinical support workers and administrators that responded had seen colleagues break rules and make mistakes.
Some Illinois residents may have heard of a growing trend in medical care known as concierge medicine practices. These companies usually charge patients a membership fee for what they advertise as better medical service including same-day appointments. Doctors pay a per-patient fee as well, and in return the companies offer marketing and other services. In general, concierge medicine practices maintain that they offer doctors and patients a way to connect but that they are not responsible for the doctors. However, a ruling on Feb. 10 may bring changes to the industry.
Illinois parents may have heard about a mother who lost her 11-year-old daughter to undetected respiratory arrest during routine surgery in 2002. The use of a simple monitor during the application of anesthetic could have prevented the alleged medical malpractice from ever occurring in the first place. Ten years later, she began working to get legislation passed in California so the same tragedy wouldn't happen to others.
When Illinois residents enter a hospital for treatment, they are often too ill or too scared to pay close attention to the quality of the treatment they receive. Even if family members are close at hand, these individuals may be too upset to think clearly about the quality of treatment their loved ones are undergoing, opening the way for possible medical malpractice. People naturally assume that every procedure will be properly performed, but this is not necessarily the case. Instead of communicating with patients and their families about what procedures need to happen and when, hospital staff may gloss over this aspect of care, leaving patients in the dark.