There’s a story in today’s Boston Globe that really set off my “well, duh!” muscles — and not in the usual way.
It seems that hospitals are, by and large, not going to charge people for their screwups.
There is a category of medical mishaps that are called “never events” — events that should never happen to patients. Stuff like instruments being left inside during surgery, bedsores, certain types of falls, and whatnot — the kinds of things that can only come about from gross negligence on the part of hospitals.
The surprising thing about this is not that it’s being done, but that it hasn’t been done before.
I think this is a good thing. It’ll encourage hospitals to watch themselves more carefully, ‘fess up when they do blow it, and give people the satisfaction of knowing quickly when they have been the victims of a screwup.
Plus, it ought to help keep the John Edwards of the world away from the situations, and that can only be a good thing.