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Chicago startup’s software could prevent rare surgical errors

| Aug 31, 2018 | Medical Malpractice |

Ohio residents may be interested to know that a startup in Chicago is developing software that could not only reduce but prevent serious surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong part of the body or transplanting the wrong organ. Such errors occur in only .03 percent of operations every year in the U.S., but that still comes to about 8,000 to 10,000 patients being injured or permanently disabled.

SafeStart Medical is the name of the startup, and it was established in 2015 by a man who had practiced general surgery for 38 years at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The software that it developed, which is compliant with HIPAA rules, can create enhanced patient safety records. The administrative side begins by putting in clinical documents, surgeon annotated photos and allergies and consent forms, and in the end, the patient reviews and approves of the record and the scheduled surgery.

The CEO has stated that the main purpose of this software is to involve the patient and to break down the silo mentality among doctors and other staff. The enhanced records can eliminate communication and hand-off errors, which account for at least half of serious surgical errors.

SafeStart is conducting field research on how the software affects healthcare systems. Once the software is commercialized, it will become available on a subscription basis.

Those who suffer due to a surgical error may want to speak with a medical malpractice attorney once they have reached maximum medical improvement. In this state, the statute of limitations is one year after the incident. With the help of an attorney and his or her team of third-party experts, victims might be able to show how the surgeon was being negligent and connect all of their reported injuries to the incident. An attorney may also be able to negotiate for a settlement on victims’ behalf or, if necessary, litigate.

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