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In the beginning of November, Leapfrog released its semiannual Hospital Safety Grades for each state in the United States. Tennessee ranked in the middle of the pack, ranking 20th amongst the 50 states for the number of hospitals that received “A” grades. On an alarming note, however, while one of three Tennessee hospitals received “A” grades this spring, the number was less than one in four for the most recent survey. A promising sign, on the other hand, is that no hospital in Tennessee received an “F” grade.

Leapfrog investigates multiple aspects of each hospital’s safety to calculate their grade, including “MRSA incidence, handwashing, error prevention, adequate nurse staffing, and ‘effective leadership to prevent errors.’” The only two hospitals to receive a “D” in Tennessee, North Knoxville Medical Center and Physicians Regional Medical Center (which is set to close in December), both presented safety issues such as blood infections and UTIS, surgical complications, and poor communication of health-related information to patients.  

Tennessee’s Children’s Hospital at Erlanger has also been under scrutiny since the filing of a recent anonymous complaint claiming patient safety is in jeopardy in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) due to concerns such as medical errors, infection control problems, and missed feedings.

Additionally, one Tennessee woman lost her husband due to a hospital’s failure to diagnose or treat sepsis that developed after a surgical procedure to remove a mass in his small intestine. When the patient, 56-year-old Bobby Miller, was eventually transferred to a new medical facility, doctors discovered that his body was full of pus and his organs were shutting down one by one. Unfortunately, Miller died from septic shock after being hospitalized for nearly a month.

The life-or-death significance of hospital safety cannot be stressed enough. Today, about 440,000 people die each year in the United States from preventable errors. While Tennessee does rank in the top half of states for patient safety, there is still a significant amount of progress that needs to be made.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error or an injury as the result of a hospital deficiency, it’s important that you contact the personal injury lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC. Our attorneys have experience with such claims of medical malpractice and we can help you understand your legal options. Call us today at 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment with our experienced team.

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