You’d think that out of four hospitals (counting Martin Memorial and Tradition as one) in the Treasure Coast area, at least one would score better than average on studies by Consumer Reports, medicare and the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. No. In fact, they rate in the bottom 20 percent among America’s hospital in ER wait times, quality of care and patient satisfaction. To read more about this, copy and paste this link into your browser:
Sinclair Law Offices can attest to this. We regularly represent victims of medical malpractice occurring at all of these hospitals–Indian River Medical Center, Martin Memorial, St Lucie Medical Center and, of course, Lawnwood Medical Center. And I can attest to the great number of patients who call my office and speak to me about suing these hospitals, even if their injuries don’t rise to the level needed for a malpractice claim. I regularly decline to represent patients who merely complain of being treated poorly, non-caring nurses and doctors who don’t listen to their needs. I tell them if we could sue for that, my parking lot would look like WalMart’s on Christmas Eve.
What’s the answer to this situation? One way is to hold the hospitals accountable for substandard care that kills or seriously injures someone–through the court system–with a medical malpractice claim. It’s a way to grab the hospitals by the lapels, shake them, and tell them “Change your policies and procedures. Require a higher standard of care from your doctors and staff.”
Another way is for patients and their families to insist on higher standards. If something doesn’t seem right, tell the nurse or ask for a nursing supervisor. It’s the old “If you see something, say something.” Doctors oftentimes don’t listen to their patients’ complaints or take inadequate medical histories. Make sure they stop and listen. A lot of injuries can be avoided if only the doctors would listen to their patients.