If you or a loved one are in a military hospital, you need to know that
it’s being held to the same standard as civilian hospitals. This
story from Dec. 21 alleges that some hospitals may not have been taking
into consideration the complaints of workers about malpractice or neglect,
going as far as to retaliate against them for their opinions and observations.

Patient safety relies on everyone on a medical team and staff taking the
time to observe what’s going on and taking care to reduce errors
in any way possible. Unfortunately, this report shows that interviews
and emails reported problems at military hospitals. Medical workers reporting
problems were identified as being punished or ignored instead of heard
when a problem was discussed.

In Ohio at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, one psychiatrist reportedly
had to deal with her supervisor trying to oust her after she complained
about the supervision of the residents. Another former surgeon at Womack
reportedly was passed over for a promotion due to reporting a supervisor’s
failure to properly examine one patient who died from cancer at a later date.

The fear of retaliation may cause discussions about the care provided at
military hospitals to shut down, which is damaging to hospitals’
reputations and to patients who go there for help. An analysis of military
hospital data has shown that there are high rates of complications in
maternity care and surgery, leading to questions about why this isn’t
being discussed. Additionally, the research discovered that some hospitals
failed to investigate after patients died or were injured, leaving questions
about what happened to cause these errors.