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Penn Study Finds Patients at Risk in PA, NJ Hospitals

Posted on February 25, 2019

The original IOM report on which the study was based.

Over half of the nurses working at some Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals have concerns about patient safety, according to a study reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and nearly one in three respondents indicated that patient safety was “unfavorable.”

The study, led by University of Penn nursing professor Linda Aiken, surveyed approximately 13,000 nurses at 535 hospitals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California and Florida. More than half, or 54.9 percent, of nurses “would not definitely recommend their hospital,” reported the article, and “28.9 percent gave their hospital an unfavorable grade on infection prevention.” More than a third indicated that important information was lost during shift changes and 41.9 percent said, “things fall between the cracks.”

This survey was a follow-up to one done in 2005, which posed the same questions. There was an improvement since that time in quality of patient care and safety at those hospitals where the clinical work environment had also improved, according to the article. But at hospitals where the work environment worsened, there was a drop in patient safety, indicating the need for increased managerial support, staffing levels, resources and training.

The Penn study is the latest in “a national conversation about patient safety” prompted two decades ago by the Institute of Medicine’s report, “To Err is Human.” Among the initial report’s recommendations were to “improve the work environment for nurses by ensuring adequate numbers of staff,” according to the article.

If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of a medical error in a Philadelphia hospital and would like to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, contact us.