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New tool could eliminate surgical 'never events'

A startup called SafeStart Medical wants to use cloud technology to make sure that New York patients aren't victims of surgical mistakes. The startup's app, which is compliant with HIPPA laws, involves the patient throughout the treatment process. Both patients and physicians review photos, consent forms and other relevant information prior to a surgical procedure taking place. SafeStart Medical's founder says that about 8,000 to 10,000 patients a year are impacted by what are referred to as "never events."

These events include the wrong body part being operated on or receiving the wrong organ. However, with this new tool, the goal is to completely eradicate such events from happening. It is thought that about half of these errors are the result of poor communication. Although the service is not yet available to paying customers, it will be offered as a subscription with the cost based on the size of the health care provider.

Patients who are the victims of surgical mistakes may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice typically occurs when an error is made despite the experience and tools available to the person who made the mistake. In some cases, malpractice occurs when another person under the surgeon's supervision makes a mistake during a surgery. Malpractice may also take place when a mistake occurs at some point prior to a procedure that results in a never event.

Individuals who are pursuing a malpractice claim may want to do so with the assistance of an attorney. He or she may be able to collect evidence that shows that a medical professional had the experience or tools needed to perform a procedure. It may also be possible to show that a surgeon was negligent in performing a procedure without proper tools or training.

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