Medical errors are a leading cause of death and injury, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that roughly 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of medical errors. To put that staggering number into perspective, more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS.
Another interesting trend to note is the decreasing number of independent doctors in favor of doctors working for large corporate health care groups. For example, Riverside Medical Group added 82 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants in 2008. Sentara Medical Group added roughly 100 physicians in the past two years while Bon Secours Medical Group nearly doubled in size when it added 24 physicians this past year, according to the dailypress.com.
Could there be a connection between mistakes and the expanding size of major health care groups? Possibly. There are certain benefits for doctors to join health care groups. It alleviates the business aspect of running an independent health facility and can provide additional stability.
However, when doctors join a large health group like Bon Secours and Sentara, they’re also subject to certain policies and practices that may increase the workload to a point where the likelihood for mistakes increases. There could also be less one-on-one time between the doctor and the patient since the doctor is beholden to the health group, not their own practice.
Here’s a video talking about medical mistakes:
As a personal injury lawyer practicing for over two decades, I’ve represented numerous clients who’ve suffered horrific injuries due to medical errors. Though some doctors may benefit from joining large health companies, we need to keep an eye on the number of medical errors occurring in Virginia (VA) and throughout the country. If it increased precipitously, we may need to examine this connection further.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car,truck,railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.