Utah Hospitals Penalized for Lack of Patient Safety By on March 15, 2017

Utah Hospitals Penalized for Lack of Patient Safety


The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted a study, where 769 hospitals in the United States were found to have high rates of patient injuries. Among these hospitals, 8 Utah hospitals were identified including:

  • Intermountain Medical Center, Murray
  • St. Mark’s Hospital, Salt Lake City
  • LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City
  • Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, Salt Lake City
  • Cache Valley Hospital, North Logan
  • McKay Dee Hospital, Ogden
  • Castleview Hospital, Price
  • Mountain West Medical Center, Tooele

The hospitals are penalized for hospital-acquired conditions such as infections, blood clots, bedsores, and falls. These are complications that are potentially avoidable. Central line infections, catheter infections, surgical site infections, and MRSA are all measured. Of 3,203 hospitals studied, these 769 fall into the lowest performing 25%. These hospitals will lose 1% of all Medicare payments for a year, as a penalty. The goal is that through penalizing hospitals, hospitals will begin to take better care to ensure patients are kept safe from further complications or injury.

What are Hospital-Acquired Conditions

Hospital-acquired conditions are conditions that a patient acquires during their time at the hospital, being treated for another, unrelated, condition. These complications are often preventable and avoidable if hospitals are taking proper care. Many hospitalized patients are already susceptible to infection, and hospitals should take all precautions to prevent illness. The following are various hospital-acquired conditions:

  • Infection from a hysterectomy
  • Infection from colon surgery
  • Urinary tract catheters infections
  • Central line tube infections
  • Hip fractures, from falls
  • MRSA
  • Post-surgical blood clots
  • Other surgical site infections
  • Bad reactions to medicines
  • Other injuries from falls

If you or a loved one has suffered from a hospital-acquired condition, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against your provider. The team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane has significant experience representing persons injured by medical malpractice. Last year alone, there were 3.8 million hospital injuries, which translates to 115 injuries during every 1,000 hospital stays. Nationally, however, hospital-acquired conditions have declined 21% over the last 5 years.

How Hospital-Acquired Conditions Occur

Hospital-acquired conditions can occur in many ways. Here a few common causes of these conditions:

  • Failing to follow fall prevention protocols
  • Failing to follow blood clot prevention protocols
  • Medical staff failing to wash their hands
  • Medical staff failing to use sterile gloves or masks
  • Providing patients with unsterile sheets or blankets
  • Failing to cleanse an area receiving a catheter
  • Failing to properly cleanse an area being operated upon
  • Failure to change bandages regularly
  • Medical staff failure to clean or replace equipment in a patient

Hospital-acquired conditions can cause devastating, even fatal injury to patients. These conditions, however, are preventable in many cases, but hospitals still have work to do to prevent all of these complications. Hospital-acquired infections can be extremely painful and agonizing for those suffering from them.

Our Attorneys Can Help You

Given the complexity and severity of medical malpractice injuries, it is important to contact an attorney quickly if you have acquired a hospital-acquired condition, similar to those discussed above. The attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane will assist you in evaluating and prosecuting all valid claims you may have.

Contact the Medical Malpractice Team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane

When a hospital-acquired infection is the result of medical negligence, the patient may file a claim for damages. For more information about your legal options related to your hospital-acquired condition and medical malpractice, please contact our team of medical malpractice attorneys today. The legal team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane will fight diligently for you and your legal needs.

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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