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Surgeons' complication rates often not tracked by hospitals

For New Yorkers, choosing the right surgeon to perform an operation is one of the ways in which they can protect themselves from surgical errors and complications. Many people often rely on the recommendation of their doctor or hospital staff, but Queens surgical errors lawyers know this can be a mistake. The surgeon may have a history of making mistakes during operations or there may be a pattern of complications. However, as one recent analysis shows, hospitals often don't track these surgeons' complication rates.

The analysis was conducted by looking at a group of eight surgical procedures considered elective. The study covered five years and examined surgeons' overall performance, including complications after surgery and during surgery. Those conducting the analysis found that 25 percent of surgical complications could be traced to 11 percent of surgeons across the country and that in many cases, these surgeons often had complication rates that exceeded the national average by double or triple.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services point out that such data should focus on the entire medical care team but the agency is only just starting to make the information it has collected available to the public. The failure of hospitals to have systems in place that record complications and mistakes appears to be part of the problem and not a problem that will be solved any time soon. In the meantime, it is estimated that each year, preventable complications and errors lead to the death of 200,000 patients.

When surgeons fail to take measures that protect their patients from harm, the ending result can be devastating to patients and their families. However, victims of negligent doctors have legal options. Therefore, they may find it beneficial to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.

Source: ProPublica "Making The Cut," Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, July 13, 2015

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