Safety First Resource
Resources for surgical safety
Resources for Safe Medication Use
According to the National Health Institute, health care in the United States is not as safe as it should be–and can be. Two major studies found that at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. “To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System”, Institute of Medicine, November 1999. This is more people than die in motor vehicle accidents or from breast cancer. Other research suggests that the human toll may be far higher, with preventable errors and negligence taking the lives of 195,000 people each year. “Patient Safety in American Hospitals,” HealthGrades, July 2004, www.healthgrades.com.
A recent study of just a sample of Pennsylvania hospitals found that hospital-acquired infections in that state alone are taking a staggering toll on patients and the cost of health care, resulting in nearly 1,800 additional deaths, increased costs of $2 billion, and 205,000 additional days spent in the hospital by patients contracting largely preventable infections. “Hospital Acquired Infections in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, July 2005.
A little knowledge about your healthcare provider and your health can go a long way in reducing your risk of becoming a victim of medical malpractice and, hopefully, reduce the chance that you will ever require our services. What follows is information and resources that Mellino Robenalt, LLC believes will help you find quality healthcare and understand your injury or condition.
Choosing Your Healthcare Provider
Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care – Developed by Agency for Health Care Policy and Research to help you make health care decisions using information about quality. The Guide is based on research about the information people want and need when choosing health plans, doctors, treatments, hospitals, and long-term care. These are the major decisions most people face at one time or another during their lives-either for themselves or for a loved one.
State Medical Board of Ohio- Board Mission: “To ensure that citizens of the state have access to safe care, the Board regulates physicians (M.D.s and D.O.s) and acupuncturists. The Board licenses and disciplines practitioners under its jurisdiction in accordance with state law and administrative rules.” Use the for consumer tab to research your doctor and learn about his/her education, licensure, board disciplinary actions and more.
American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) – Search to determine if your doctor is board certified. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a not-for-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty boards, is the pre-eminent entity overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS’ mission has been to maintain and improve the quality of medical care by assisting its Member Boards in developing and implementing educational and professional standards to evaluate and certify physician specialists. ABMS is recognized by the key healthcare accreditation organizations as a primary equivalent source of board certification data on medical specialists for credentialing purposes.
American Medical Association – Doctor Finder – Provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States, including some 690,000 doctors. AMA member physician listings offer additional information such as office hours, accepted insurance providers, educational history and other helpful information.
American Osteopathic Association (AOA) – Doctor Finder – Member association representing more than 56,000 osteopathic physicians (D.O.s). Serves as the primary certifying body for D.O.s, and is the accrediting agency for all osteopathic medical colleges and health care facilities. Search for D.O.’s nationwide at.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) – Independent, not-for-profit organization, established more than 50 years ago. JCAHO is governed by a board that includes physicians, nurses, and consumers. Sets the standards by which health care quality is measured in America and around the world. Evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 15,000 health care organizations. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations must have an extensive on-site review by a team of JCAHO health care professionals, at least once every three years. The purpose of the review is to evaluate the organization’s performance in areas that affect your care. Accreditation may then be awarded based on how well the organizations met JCAHO standards. A list of JCAHO accredited organizations and their survey results are posted here.
Health Grades – Independent healthcare ratings organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Find quality ratings of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals and 16,000 nursing homes as well as in-depth profiles of the nation’s 650,000 physicians.
Reduce Your Risk of Medical Errors
20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors – Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in U.S. hospitals each year as the result of medical errors. This means that more people die from medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. Government agencies, purchasers of group health care, and health care providers are working together to make the U.S. health care system safer for patients and the public. This fact sheet tells what you can do.
20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children – Medical errors are one of the Nation’s leading causes of death and injury. Rates of medication errors and adverse drug events for hospitalized children were comparable to rates for hospitalized adults in a 2001 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, the rate for potential adverse drug events was three times higher in children, and substantially higher still for babies in neonatal intensive care units. Studies of medical errors outside the hospital are just getting underway. This fact sheet is intended to help parents help their children avoid medical errors.
Quick Tips-When Talking with Your Doctor- Research has shown that patients who have good relationships with their doctors tend to be more satisfied with their care-and to have better results. Here are some tips to help you and your doctor become partners in improving your health care.
Your Medicine: Play It Safe – You can learn more about how to take medicines safely by reading this guide. It answers common questions about getting and taking medicines and has many handy forms that will help you keep track of information. Keep this guide with your medicines in case you have any questions, concerns, or worries. This guide was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE).
Know Your Injury/Illness
PDR Health - A wide range of e-solutions, publications, drug databases, and communications vehicles to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, and managed-care organizations.
healthfinder® – Provides a gateway to reliable consumer health information from the Federal Government and other organizations.