Dying to Be Cured

When Healthcare Mistakes become Deadly

By: Christine Dura

A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The Hopkins study, based on an analysis of prior studies, estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors, which can include death from surgical complications, prescription medication mistakes and infections.

The Hopkins researchers argue that the CDC should include medical errors as the cause of death in their published mortality statistics, not the “underlying cause of death”. By doing so, the public and professionals would become more aware and concerned about death by medical error. If this were the case, on the CDC’s official list, death related to medical errors would rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer.

This number is staggering, and to put it into context, it would be equivalent to 417 Boeing 747 airlines crashing per year or nearly two per day. If this was happening in the skies, we would all demand that the FAA do something to prevent it, and the same should be the case with the CDC.

Arminda ‘Mindy’ Figueroa, the Founder and CEO of Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications, agrees.  She and her team specialize in healthcare and work with leading hospitals and healthcare investors in the United States and Latin America. Figueroa says “Patient education is critical not only about prevention but in knowing what to expect if you are hospitalized or what alternatives there are to hospitalization”.

Dr. Alejandro Badia and Justin Irizarry believe that another opportunity for reducing deaths related to hospital medical errors is the redirection of patients reporting to an emergency room to a healthcare franchise.  They feel so strongly about this nontraditional care delivery method option that they Co-Founded OrthoNOW®, the nation’s only franchised orthopedic care center.  Irizarry, a Wharton Fellow and financial industry experts says “According to the Urgent Care Association of America, UCAOA, 98% of patients seeking treatment at their local emergency room should be treated at a healthcare franchise center. In terms of health care deliver these healthcare businesses represent the coveted quadruple aim; lower costs, better outcomes, improved patient experience, and improved clinician experience”.

Badia states, “Aside from the time and cost savings associated with this maneuver, healthcare franchises do not accept trauma patients nor do they experience the same volume as an ER. Patients presenting to major emergency rooms are also exposed too nosocomial (hospital related) bacterial infections due to the environment present amidst long waits”.  Badia continues “Specialized, non-hospital care environments are healthier, and more efficient, for a patient seeking orthopedic acute care. Combined these facts allow franchise medical staff extra time with a patient to discuss history and possible underlying conditions in a reduced stress environment. This minimizes both the risks of infection and the likelihood of prescription medication errors which contribute to the death rates as denoted by the Hopkins Study”.

The Hopkins Study casts a light on a significant health care delivery method weakness that will spur conversation and lead to the proliferation of healthcare business opportunities, like OrthoNOW, which will continue to disrupt the industry and lower the accidental death count.

OrthoNOW is the first and only Orthopedic franchise. Contact Christine Dura at Christine@orthonowcare.com for more information about franchise opportunities.

Christine has over 25 years of quantifiable executive management and franchise related leadership experience within the US and internationally with notable franchise startups in the service, technology, retail, food, health and wellness, financial service, medical care, technology and professional services.   As a Senior Franchise Executive and Entrepreneur, Ms. Dura has been both an individual contributor and has successfully led world-class teams.

Ms. Dura excels at partnering with all core business operations to significantly increase the company’s foot print, expand market share, and generate sustainable revenue and EBIT gains.  Her proven successes, combined with her Master Degree in Training and Development, have shaped Ms. Dura’s uncanny ability to identify opportunities, build mutually rewarding partnerships and produce remarkable results. 

In addition, as a four-time Master and Unit Franchise Owner, Ms. Dura is in a very unique position to leverage her experiences and reputation at all levels in franchising along with her vast personal and professional investor network to drive immediate and long term results.   As OrthoNOW’s Chief Development Officer her role is to identify critical gaps in franchise growth and implement strategies to drive results. Her unique background allows her to leverage past experiences and solid reputation to spearhead OrthoNOW’s national expansion plans.