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Some Miami hospitals score high in study, but many fall short

There is some good news for Miami residents. According to a recent nationwide study, 18 Miami-Dade and Broward County hospitals are worthy of an A grade when it comes to patient safety. The study, by Leapfrog Group, took into account several factors, including the occurrence of patient death, bed sores and hospital falls. Yet, the news is not all good. Six hospitals in the area received a C grade and, since the study did not give grades lower than a C, three hospitals received a "grade pending" rating. Those hospitals were given time to improve their scores.

Patient safety should be a top priority for all hospitals. A medication or surgical error can leave a patient with severe injuries that requires long-term care. A person who is harmed due to hospital negligence could even end up permanently disabled or dead. The stakes are high when choosing a hospital and the choice should not be taken lightly.

Yet, even those hospitals that scored high in the study are not immune to errors. Stress and fatigue can lead to irreversible mistakes that result in serious injury. Unfortunately, no study can predict when these incidents will occur.

When patients are injured due to a health care provider's neglect, they may be eligible to receive compensation to ease the financial burden associated with the injury. The compensation received through a medical malpractice lawsuit may be able to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. After all, a patient should not have to suffer financial setbacks because of a health care provider's negligent care.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Eighteen South Florida hospitals graded A," John Dorschner, June 12, 2012

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