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How safe are hospitals in New York and elsewhere?

People turn to hospitals in New York when they need medical care that, in some cases, is required to save their lives. Even in minor cases, they expect the hospitals to be safe and to be run at a high level but is this really what they are going to find? When looking at national numbers, it appears that there are ways to determine just how safe some hospitals are.

For one thing, a Joint Commission exists to monitor hospitals, ensuring that they are safe environments, that they are being run properly and that the quality of care that people expect is being given. In the 2013 report that the Joint Commission put out, they stated that 3,300 hospitals have been accredited by their organization. A full third of those (33 percent) have reached the level of "top performers."

While roughly 1,100 hospitals earned that distinction in 2013, scores are able to stay on the list consistently, appearing there year after year. In fact, 182 of those that are listed managed to be there for a stretch of three consecutive years, showing a commitment to excellence in the industry.

These reports are very important when it comes to medical malpractice suits because they show what type of environment the hospital offers and what efforts the staff put forth to make sure that they give patients excellent care each and every time that they come to the institution. Many medical malpractice cases revolve around negligence, but a hospital that has a recorded history of avoiding negligence and providing top-notch care can focus on that history to show that they did all that they could in every case, regardless of the outcome.

Source: Forbes, "Malpractice Lawsuits Aren't Just About Money" Steve Cohen, Sep. 05, 2014

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