As New Yorkers we always assume that our city has the best of everything, but a recent study by Consumer Reports revealed that this might not be the case when it comes to healthcare.

This study reported that the five worst hospitals in the nation are in the New York Metropolitan area. Coming on the heels of reports about the malpractice epidemic at Brookdale Hospital one thing is clear: New York Hospitals need to prioritize patient safety.

Two of the four criteria used by Consumer Reports in ranking hospital safety dealt with communicating information and instructions.

In our practice we have seen the serious consequences of poor communication by medical personnel. Communication failures, like not noting or relating test results in a timely fashion or failing to order timely follow up testing, can have catastrophic results.

Medical errors are so prevalent that a recent government study showed that 1 in 7 hospital patients experience a medical error and that 44% of those errors are preventable.

What can patients do to protect themselves? Asking for a copy of test results and questioning your doctor about the results is one way to insure you are getting the care and attention you need. Another is to ask questions about any new treatment or medication. Knowing what is being ordered and why is an important step to making certain you are safe from medication errors.

Whether it is in the hospital or your doctor’s office,  good communication is crucial to your safety as a patient.

If you have questions about Hospital Safety, Contact Medlaw1 for a free consultation today.