When you think about surgery, your mind might go straight to hospitals. However, hospitals are not the only places where you could end up undergoing a surgical procedure. You could be among the many people here in America who get a surgery at a surgical center.
An increasingly common surgery destination
Since their introduction in the 1970s, surgical centers have seen a great deal of growth here in the United States. There are currently over 5,600 such facilities that are Medicare-certified in the nation.
Also, there has been significant growth in the types of procedures performed at such facilities. For example, in recent years, Medicare has increased the number of spinal procedures it has approved for billing at these centers. A recent investigation by reporters suggests that there has also been a move at many of these facilities in recent years towards taking on riskier surgeries.
Patient safety concerns
The growth in the popularity of and types of surgeries done at surgical centers, along with the fact that these centers typically don’t have the level of infrastructure that hospitals do, has raised some questions about the level of patient safety at these facilities.
Reportedly, thousands of times a year, 911 calls are made by surgical centers in connection to complications experienced by patients. The recent investigation also indicated that there have been over 260 patient deaths following in-and-out procedures performed at such facilities since 2013.
Surgical center mistakes that could harm patients
As with other medical facilities, care mistakes made at surgical centers could expose patients to significant harm. Surgical negligence is among the things that can lead to patient deaths.
There are various types of surgical center missteps that could endanger patient safety. These include:
- Not properly gauging patient risk, including anesthesia risk, prior to operating
- Taking on surgeries too complicated or risky for them to handle
- Sending patients home before they have had time to properly recover
- Not having the right kind of equipment to protect patient health and safety
- Not giving staff sufficient training
- Putting profits above patient safety
The recent investigation suggested that, unfortunately, some surgical centers in the America are committing such missteps. Individuals harmed by surgical negligence at private surgical centers may be able to pursue legal recourse though medical malpractice lawsuits. Such lawsuits can have many complexities. So, having the right guidance can be of great importance when pursuing this legal option.
What do you think the future will see regarding patient safety at surgical centers? What would you most like to see such centers here in Florida do towards the protection of such safety?