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Patient Safety Book Highlights COVID Nursing Home Care

Medical Malpractice Briefing Includes Facts on U.S. Nursing Home Industry’s Failed Response To COVID

The 2021 update to the briefing book Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers, published by the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) at New York Law School, has been released and includes the latest statistics and research on issues related to medical malpractice, including long-term care wrongdoing. The 141-page volume includes over 400 linked footnotes and sources. It also discusses how laws could make it harder for patients and their families to place accountability on health care providers and nursing home owners in the case of medical negligence.

Medical Malpractice as it Relates to Long Term Care Providers

In 2020, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reviewed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data on nursing home deficiencies cited by surveyors in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The agency found that most U.S. nursing home care facilities were not prepared to battle the COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious diseases. These failures likely contributed to countless preventable coronavirus infections and deaths.

  • Infection prevention and control deficiencies were the most common type of deficiency cited in surveyed nursing homes, with most nursing homes having an infection prevention and control deficiency noted in one or more years from 2013 through 2017 (82% of all surveyed homes).
  • Infection prevention and control deficiencies cited by surveyors can include situations where nursing home staff did not regularly use proper hand hygiene or failed to implement preventive measures during an infectious disease outbreak. These include isolating sick residents and using masks and other personal protective equipment to control the spread of infection.

“Since COVID hit a year ago, patient safety priorities have switched to issues like nursing home care and poor infection practices, which are also harming health care workers,” said CJ&D Executive Director Joanne Doroshow. “As the pandemic’s impact begins to recede, these new findings are an important reminder that laws providing immunity to hospitals and negligent nursing homes are extremely ill-advised and should be repealed.”

Nursing home doctors and care workers can be disciplined for criminal convictions, medical negligence, and other wrongdoings. But even with a disciplinary record, too many medical professionals continue to practice, some even changing states to do so. Medical malpractice and nursing home abuse payments are not arbitrary; they reveal negligence and can help prevent future injuries to others.

“Tort Reforms” Keep Legitimate Cases from Being Filed

Litigation, settlements, and insurance play critical safety roles while “tort reform” laws harm patient safety. But knowing more about the safety rights of patients does help. Anyone interested in learning more about any of these issues should turn to the briefing book as a resource that reviews topics such as:

A copy of the complete briefing book can be found here.

Top Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers in Illinois

If you or a family member are the victims of medical negligence, please let us fight for you. We can conduct a free, no-obligation analysis of your situation to reveal your potential reimbursement for the harm caused by medical malpractice. To request a meeting with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers or one of our medical malpractice attorneys, please call us in Chicago at 312-332-2872.