by Tim Rowan, Editor
By now, you have probably heard about the May 3 report in The Washington Post, repeated on NPR and network TV news broadcasts, citing research that shows medical errors to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. I hope you appreciate what an opportunity for healthcare at home providers.
The research the Post reports reveals that people are being injured and dying from the care provided to them more than they are dying from their diseases. At 271,000 deaths per year, medical errors claim nearly 700 lives per day. A typical Boeing 747 carries 416 passengers. Imagine what would happen to the airline industry if two full-loaded jumbo jets crashed every three days. How do hospitals escape the same consequences?
According to lead researcher Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, hospitals settle medical error wrongful death cases only with gag orders. "No one involved may ever speak of the hospital's admission of guilt for the rest of their lives," he told NPR. "Airlines don't have that option."
Nobody does it better
Healthcare payers and patients are the stake holders most impacted by this problem. Providers of in-home healthcare services should be printing this Washington Post article and giving copies to every sales person. They should be posting the link to it on their own web sites. They should bring it to every managed care contract negotiation.
Our healthcare sector has been trying to convince payers and regulators for years that not only is care in the home the alternative preferred by people but that it is also the most cost-effective alternative to in-patient and long term care. Now we have another reason to urge payers and discharge planners to get people out of the hospital and back home under our care as quickly as possible. We don't kill people.
©2016 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org