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Never events are less likely in New Jersey

Never events, which are those that shouldn't ever happen but do, are less likely to occur in New Jersey than in the nation as a whole. Some never events include major medical errors like medication errors that lead to death and wrong site surgery. While you will still be at risk of those types of issues occurring in New Jersey, your risk isn't as high as if you were in other states.

Across the country, one in five hospitals don't have policies in place to prevent never events and account for those never events. In New Jersey, 90 percent of hospitals do have those policies in place. That means that in New Jersey, one in 10 hospitals are without never event policies. In fact, there were only three states with a better record for never event policies.

One reason why New Jersey is leading the way for states to tackle never event issues is because of the Patient Safety Act that was signed into law in 2004. This act makes medical facilities balance patient needs with liability concerns that were brought up by the hospital during the two years it took for the act to pass. One point that is touted to have made a big difference is the requirement for hospitals to report never events to regulators within 10 days and to find and correct the underlying issue that led to the never event.

Despite this amazing news, there is a still a chance that patients will be harmed by medical errors while receiving care in New Jersey. Those patients might choose to seek compensation for the damages they suffered in those events.

Source: NJ Spotlight, "New Jersey Hospitals Well Prepped to Prevent Medical Errors," Lilo H. Stainton, June 14, 2016

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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