Are Washington DC Hospitals Safe?


washington dc empty hospital bed

When you go to a hospital in Washington D.C., you expect the facility to adhere to minimum health and safety standards. Whether your visit is for a minor procedure or major, life-saving surgery, you have a right to feel safe within the building and among the people dedicated to caring for you. But almost all major hospitals across the District of Columbia routinely receive failing grades for health and safety, leaving patients open to severe injury and healthcare professionals liable for medical malpractice.

 

According to the nonprofit organization Leapfrog Group, which grades healthcare facilities on safety initiatives, almost every major hospital in the Washington D.C. area is unsafe. Leapfrog Group’s semiannual report, Hospital Safety Grades, reports that only Sibley Memorial Hospital received an ‘A’ rating for health and safety of the six hospitals in the metropolitan region. Three others received a ‘C,’ one received a ‘D,’ and perhaps most astonishingly, one received an ‘F.’ 

 

A few years ago, NBC News reported that Washington D.C. hospitals ranked last in the country for health and safety. Patients would go into these medical facilities hoping to be healed, only to suffer from infections, injuries, and other forms of medical negligence. When surgical errors, medication errors, or hospital negligence occur, you and your loved ones can find yourselves hurt, out of work, and struggling financially and emotionally. With an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side, you can receive the compensation that you deserve.

 

The Importance of Patient Safety In Washington D.C. Hospitals

 

As the nation’s capital and a bustling metropolitan area, people tend to think of Washington D.C. as the center of everything. The city is home to politicians, lobbyists, business people, think tanks, and well-renowned academic institutions. But it turns out that many of the region’s hospitals don’t make the grade, failing patients when it comes to health and safety.

 

MedStar Washington and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital both received ‘C’ ratings from Leapfrog Group in spring 2021, as did George Washington University Hospital. Howard University Hospital earned a ‘D’ for health and safety, while United Medical Center was at the bottom of the pack, earning an ‘F’ for its efforts. While overall ratings don’t account for everything a hospital does — for example, United scored well in preventing infections — it shows there is a great need for area hospitals in the region to do better.

 

Leapfrog Group is an independent, third-party organization. The hospital health and safety grades they award allow patients to be better consumers about their healthcare. Not only do these ratings rank the best performing hospital in the District of Columbia and across the country, but they also encourage medical facilities to do the best they can when it comes to safety by acting as an outside watchdog group.

However, recent ratings show that most hospitals in the Washington D.C. metro area have a lot to live up to regarding health and safety. Low ratings identify problems such as misdiagnosis, anesthesia errors, emergency room negligence, and more. If you visited an unsafe hospital in Washington D.C. and were the victim of medical malpractice, an experienced attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

 

How Patient Safety In Washington D.C. Hospitals Affects You

 

With all but one of the region’s hospitals receiving low ratings for safety, you need to make an informed decision next time you are injured or need a medical procedure. Medical malpractice leads to thousands of unnecessary injuries — and even wrongful death — every day. The results of even the slightest mistake due to negligence in patient safety can be devastating to you and your loved ones.

Hundreds of thousands of people develop infections in the hospital, while thousands of those die every year. Hospital patients routinely fall on medical grounds, aggravating injuries or causing new ones to occur. Doctors can prescribe the wrong medication, misdiagnose a patient, or keep a patient on bed rest for too long, causing painful bedsores and other issues that can turn into chronic problems. 

Hospitals are meant to be places of healing where patient health and safety come first. But recent safety ratings show that Washington D.C. hospitals need to do better. If you or a loved one were a victim of hospital negligence, surgical errors, medication errors, or other forms of medical malpractice due to unsafe conditions at a Washington D.C. hospital, the medical malpractice attorneys at Regan Zambri Long can help. Our team of experienced lawyers can bring you the results you need to make you whole again. Call us today at 202-960-4596 for a free consultation.