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Louisiana hospitals score low in recent study

If you had access to hospital safety ratings, would you use the information to make decisions about where you receive medical care? Actually, this information is available in Louisiana and across the country. Consumer Reports, the stalwart of data for consumer decisions, rates hospitals based on five safety criteria and publishes the results. Some of the categories take hospital negligence into account for the compilation of the ratings.

The safety scores are based upon five categories, including mortality rate, readmission rate, patient communication, success in avoiding infections, and the re-ordering of chest and abdominal CT scans.

The rating scale runs from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best score. Of all hospitals rated, the highest rating was 78 points. Two Louisiana hospitals were rated in the lowest group, receiving scores of 25 and less. Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans received the second lowest score of 19. Only one hospital scored lower with a rating of 11.

While all medical complications are not necessarily the result of hospital neglect or medical malpractice, in some cases adverse effects of medical treatment are the results of treatment that fell below certain standards. As such, Louisiana residents may be wise to research hospital ratings when possible; of course, in many cases individuals are not able to make decisions about which hospitals they will receive care.

When a person does suffer due to medical errors in Louisiana, it may be wise to consult an attorney who handles medical malpractice cases to determine whether the hospital or a medical professional should be held responsible.

Source: Consumer Reports, “Is your hospital really as safe as you think?” March 2014

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